Starting Fall 2022, I’m excited to say that I’ll be returning to school full-time to complete my bachelor’s degree, specifically in Graphic Design, at the Alberta University of the Arts (Calgary friends: you may also know this school by its other name: ACAD).
This has been a goal I’ve aimed to achieve since graduating from college in 2015 and I feel extremely fortunate to have the support of my partner Drew Crawford and my family as I pursue this endeavour for the next few years.
This has been an academic goal I’ve been longing to complete since graduating from SAIT’s New Media Production and Design program in 2015.
Why I Didn’t Go Back Sooner
I knew upon graduating that I was not done with school yet. However, opportunity came knocking when I received my first job offer prior to my graduation in Spring 2015. I took the opportunity, which eventually led me to my first job in the sports industry with Mount Royal University’s Cougar Athletics and Recreation Department, which eventually led to my most recent endeavour as Sport Calgary’s Manager of Digital Media.
During that 5-7 year period, a lot developed in my personal life as well. I moved out from my parents’ house around December 2015, met my current partner Drew in June 2017, which eventually led to us moving in together in July 2018.
Shortly after moving in together in, Drew started his post-secondary studies at SAIT’s Radio Television and Broadcast News program. We were in no financial position for the both of us to live on our own as well as go to school, so my pursuit to go back to school was postponed to Fall 2020. At the time, I was preparing myself to go back to school in Fall 2020 at U of C’s Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies program.
However, a month before Drew’s graduation, COVID arrived in March 2020. The broadcast industry's job market took a huge hit and as a result, it was difficult for my partner to find an entry-level job. With that being said, I had to postpone my education studies and stay working full-time until Drew had a full-time job as well as when the severity of COVID blew over.
9 months and a full-time job offer for Drew later, I was ready to take the next step towards in becoming a graphic designer.
I had two job interviews for graphic designer roles here in Calgary (one of them was in the professional sports industry too) and it was a devastating blow to my confidence when I did not end up getting the jobs because I had not been practicing graphic design regularly and it apparently showed during the practical sections of the interviews.
It was there I realized that my career was no longer going in the direction I wanted to head and that something needed to change.
I realized I didn’t wanted to be a marketing or communications person. I wanted to specialize as a graphic designer. This is when my academic pursuit changed from a Communications degree to a Design degree, which at the end of the day, I am extremely grateful for. It only took me a pandemic to realize this.
What I'm Doing Right Now
Between November 2021 and February 2022, I took time off from work to recharge my batteries, recover from burnout, and refocus on the direction of my career.
I started doing some small freelance design work projects in February 2022 as well as begin working part time at Gord's Running Store.