What I Wish I Knew About My Job Search: Insights from Five Recent Graduates


Later this afternoon, the Portfolio Center will be welcoming back five recent graduates: Michael Alexander – Film and Video (2013), Kendra DeKuiper – Fashion Design (2012), Gigg Hemwattakit – Graphic Design (2010), Mark Leja – Film and Video (2013) and Hannah Rebernick – Graphic Design (2013).

They will be speaking as a panel about things they’ve learned about the job search since being out in the world after graduation from 4-5 PM in 623 S. Wabash, Room 311.

However, we were able to get a few tips in writing from them which we have included below. Enjoy!

From Michael…

  1. Create a professional web presence and business cards.
  2. Check freelance sites and job postings daily.
  3. Attend industry night and other events with people who have what you want and put yourself out there despite being uncomfortable.

From Kendra…

  1. Don’t think too narrowly. There are a lot of great jobs out there. All the jobs I have worked since finishing school had been design related, just not always fashion.
  2. Make as many connections as you can with fellow artists, designers, or others in your concentration. Those connections could be so helpful after school or down the road.
  3. Don’t get discouraged on your search. It takes time to work up to your dream job and that’s okay. 

From Gigg…

  1. Do lots of research about companies that you want to work for.
  2. Participate to your design community.
  3. Be nice to everyone!

From Mark…

  1. Utilize the Internet to find job opportunities.
  2. No job is beneath you.
  3. Build a large group of Producer and Director contacts, and Production Manager and Coordinators. They are the ones who hire.

From Hannah…

  1. Treat (the job search) like a job, it takes lot of time to do a good job with applications and interviews, if you’re not treating it seriously and putting the time into writing a personalized cover letter, then what’s the point?
  2. Have realistic expectations. I got a little crushed when my first interview at an upscale studio didn’t turn into a full time offer before I even graduated, but that wasn’t realistic, you need a solid first job, you can always move up from there. 

Wise words from some folks out there doing it!