Senior Graphic Design Students Learn Real-World Skills through Mock Interviews and Portfolio Reviews
LSU School of Art graphic design students in ART 4555, a senior portfolio course taught by Professor Lynne Baggett and Assistant Professor Richard Doubleday, gained real-world experience by participating in mock interviews on December 3 and 5, 2013, at the College of Art + Design.
ART 4555 is a certified communication-intensive course that meets all of the requirements set forth by LSU’s Communications across the Curriculum (CxC) program, including:
- instruction and assignments emphasizing formal and informal assignments in written and spoken communications
- teaching of discipline-specific communication techniques
- use of draft-feedback-revision process for learning
- practice of ethical and professional work standards
- forty percent of the course grade is rooted in communication-based work
- a student/faculty ratio no greater than 35:1
Professors Baggett and Doubleday invited guests from the university and local businesses to interview students and review students’ portfolios. Interviewing participants included Jewel Hampton, creative director at LSU Communications & University Relations, Joe Martin of Red Six Media, Stephen Bowling and Grant Hurlbert of Rockit Science Agency, and Patricia Buller, design manager of Community Coffee.
“This is the first time that all seniors were required to participate in the mock interview process—and in the fall. The students will have an entire semester left before graduation to polish their work and become completely ready for hire,” said Baggett.
In preparation for the mock interviews, the senior graphic design students were asked to present a final portfolio of projects from the class, including their own personal identity packages. They were required to complete design profiles and proposals for each project prior to the interviews to help them focus the discussion and to also submit final-feedback surveys, reflecting on their established goals from the beginning of the semester. These documents were developed into a CxC binder, focusing on written communication skills.
During the mock interviews, students were required to show hardcopy samples of handmade comps for books, brochures, and packages. Students were to demonstrate that they could complete a big project from start to finish. The Communications across the Curriculum Art + Design Studio helped provide and set up equipment to record the students’ interviews so that students and professors could later review and critique how well the students performed.
The course also included a service-learning component in which the students were divided into teams and asked to design a comprehensive branding program for their designated clients. The teams developed branding packages and trademarks and were asked to implement their clients’ identities across multiple applications, such as corporate manuals, packaging, signage, brochures, websites, mobile applications, and advertisements, depending on the clients’ individual needs—most of the clients are in the process of implementing the students’ designs. The clients for this project included the Louisiana Technology Council, Mayfair Laboratory School, ARC Baton Rouge, Girls on the Run Baton Rouge, and LSU Academic Programs Abroad. The client/team coordination was achieved with the assistance of graphic design graduate student Courtney Wilburn.
“The interview day was a really good experience for me. Getting to experience the interview process and hearing advice from creatives working in the industry was definitely helpful in easing the transition from school to career,” said senior graphic design student Ashley Trowel.
About Lynne Baggett
Lynne Baggett spent five years in London as a graphic designer before relocating to the US, where she now serves as professor of art in graphic design and oversees the Graphic Design Student Office (GDSO) at the LSU School of Art. Baggett has received several accolades for her research with incised letterforms, including a Mississippi Artists’ Fellowship, a research grant from LSU, and various design awards from AIGA New Orleans and the Advertising Federation of Greater Baton Rouge. Her incised-type-inspired artwork has been exhibited in Alabama, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and in the United Kingdom. Her research papers have been accepted for publication and included in national and international professional meetings. She currently serves on the board of trustees for the Association for Gravestone Studies and is a member of the Advertising Federation of Greater Baton Rouge, ATypI, and the Friends of St. Brides Printing Library in London, UK.
About Richard Doubleday
Richard Doubleday is an assistant professor of graphic design at the LSU College of Art + Design School of Art and principal of Richard B. Doubleday Design. He has lectured on graphic design history and led workshops in the United Kingdom, Japan, Mexico, United States, and China. He leads an annual workshop at the Nanjing Arts Institute and has been a guest juror at the Tokyo Type Directors Club Annual Awards. Doubleday’s work has been exhibited at international events and competitions and has been published in numerous periodicals and publications. He was elected to the Society of Printers in 2008 and is a Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation Fellow. He was recently awarded a travel grant by the Asian Cultural Council in New York City to conduct research in China in June of 2014.
About LSU School of Art
The LSU School of Art combines the best of both worlds: the resources and faculty of a large liberal arts institution and the personal attention that comes in a close-knit community. Students in the School of Art develop specialized skills while experimenting with various mediums, exploring their own creative intuition, and studying art history and contemporary art theory. Education comes from intensive critiques, working studio classes, dedicated professors, and engagement with the larger arts community through a curriculum that combines academic teaching and hands-on experiences, both on and off campus. For more information, visit art.lsu.edu.
About the Art + Design Communications across the Curriculum Studio
Students in the LSU College of Art + Design can utilize the Art + Design CxC Studio, located in Room 104-A of the Design Building. One of five communication studios on campus, this resource provides tutoring on communication assignments—specifically writing and presentations—as well as having digital media equipment available for checkout and resources for portfolio development, such as a digital documentation studio. For more information, including a list of services offered by the studio, contact Vincent Cellucci at 225-578-1197, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit lsu.edu/cxc/coad.
LSU College of Art + Design
102 Design Building
Baton Rouge, LA 70803