By Brooke McCormick
On Dec. 1, Lambda Pi Eta held a graphic design panel on Microsoft Teams with Seton Hall alumni Mark Garcia, Katie Cahalin, and Christine Krus.
Garcia is the Chief Creative Officer of Majestyk, an NYC-based studio that focuses on digital innovations. He has led creative projects for a wide range of clients including Disney, Tazo Tea, and Chick-fil-A.
During his time at Seton Hall, Garcia said he interned in the design field despite studying communication and public relations. While his major may not have been graphic design, Garcia said he took art electives.
Garcia added that he got a job in mobile app design with little to no background in the subject. As a result, he went back to night school to learn more about app design to thrive at his current job position.
Within his job, Garcia said he utilizes color theory and research to continue improving the product. In terms of research, he said user surveys are utilized, and both qualitative and quantitative data are analyzed. Garcia added that the biggest challenges within his job would be pivoting and staying up to date with all the latest forms of design.
Cahalin is the Senior Digital Producer and Club Photographer for the NYC Football Club of Major League Soccer. She said that she covers training, events, travel days, and games.
During her time at Seton Hall, Cahalin majored in broadcasting, visual and interactive media with a minor in graphic design. She said that her classes taught her the basics that have helped her in her current position. Cahalin added that her portfolio senior seminar showed her that she was good at photography, which boosted her confidence in knowing what she wanted to do as a career.
As a student, Cahalin interned for two record labels, where she found that she did not like the corporate side of things. When looking for a job after graduation, Cahalin said she became more selective.
“If I was getting offers that weren’t in the direction I wanted, I wouldn’t take them,” Cahalin said.
Cahalin added that even if you find a job you love, do not overwork yourself to the point that you start resenting it. She also stressed appreciating the little moments, even if unaware that they are happening at the moment.
Krus is currently a Seton Hall professor of art and design. Krus earned her undergraduate degree from Seton Hall and her master’s degree from Pratt Institute. She is also an internationally recognized, award-winning professional. While teaching as a professor, she donates her design services to non-profit organizations.
Krus said she knew that she wanted to be a college professor through an internship and independent study she did in her own college years. As a professor, she said she feels fulfilled when her students succeed.
During the discussion, Krus said that her favorite project was for SHARP Electronics; it was an 18-month advertisement for a new TV, but the company pulled the plug because it would not work globally due to nudity in the brochure.
“It was beautiful, it was art,” Krus said. “When you’re given the opportunity to bring a little more art into it, and given a little more freedom, that was this project.”
According to Krus, some challenges within the graphic design profession include getting bored and always looking for the next thing project-wise.
In the closing remarks, Cahalin emphasized the importance of social media when it comes to networking. Garcia also stressed keeping in touch with peers and professors; he mentioned that all his internships and opportunities were found through networking.
Garcia also gave advice to not stress over a lack of experience.
“Don’t let a lack of experience deter you from pursuing what you want to pursue,” Garcia said.