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Getting Graphic Design Work Experience

Allowing yourself a chance to step outside the classroom and into the workforce is a crucial component of an aspiring graphic designer's education. You may be a star when presented with projects and tests, but how will you hold up in a hectic professional environment, with micromanaging bosses and urgent deadlines? You don't want to be greeted by a slap in the face when you graduate and migrate over the workforce, so a good option is to ease yourself into it slowly. Find opportunities to get practical, hands-on graphic design experience while you're still in school.

Work Study

Many colleges offer students the opportunity to work and study simultaneously. While work study can sometimes translate to a Friday-night post at the campus café, there are usually more relevant jobs up for grabs as well. Some of the most useful campus positions are those that allow you to work under the professors who are already experts in graphic design. If you can nab a spot as a teaching assistant, your relationship with your teacher can provide invaluable insight. Other possibilities that graphic design students may consider include becoming a layout and image designer for the college magazine, or working with campus organizations to create posters for their events. Sometimes paid, sometimes not, the chance to get a feel for what it's like to design outside of the classroom is always valuable.

Summer Jobs and Internships

As internships for college students become increasingly popular, it may be easier than you think to find one at a successful graphic design firm. Your art school probably has some sort of network established with affiliated companies and old alumni, and this is the best place to start your summer job hunt. If that fails to turn up any viable options, turn to online resources such as Craiglist and Fastweb for employers looking for a graphic design student. If your search is still unsuccessful, don't despair-working at a restaurant isn't the only remaining option for the rest of the long summer. Why not consider creating your own makeshift business? Plenty of graphic designers sell their wares online. And summer is also the best possible time of year for street festivals, community events, and bazaars. Set up your own booth at one of these functions and find out what it's like to start up a graphic design company from scratch. Who knows? One of these brief summer business ventures could turn you into the next big name in graphic design.

Take a step outside the classroom and shake things up. The college environment, wonderful as it may be, can sometimes suck you into a bubble that doesn't even remotely resemble the real world. But the latter is where you'll have to survive as a professional graphic designer, so find out what it's like to work there as soon as you can.





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Modesto Junior College Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Landscape Architecture | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects Two-year school Modesto, CA 18410 City Public
Lasell College Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Graphic Design Four-year school Newton, MA 1672 City Private
The Art Institute of Philadelphia Animation | Audio Production | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Philadelphia, PA 3616 City Private
Saint Paul College - A Community and Technical College Animation | Graphic Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Saint Paul, MN 6010 City Public
Edgewood College Graphic Design | Performing Arts Four-year school Madison, WI 2549 City Private
Morton College CAD, Drafting | Graphic Design | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Cicero, IL 5290 Suburb Public
Tidewater Community College CAD, Drafting | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts Two-year school Norfolk, VA 30447 City Public
Metro Technology Centers Graphic Design Two-year school Oklahoma City, OK 1172 City Public
Northeast Iowa Community College - Calmar Graphic Design Two-year school Calmar, IA 5389 Town/Rural Public
Community College of Denver Graphic Design Two-year school Denver, CO 10918 City Public
North Lake College Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Irving, TX 11644 City Public
Kellogg Community College Advertising | Animation | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Battle Creek, MI 5976 City Public
Universidad Del Este Architecture | CAD, Drafting | Graphic Design Four-year school Carolina, PR 13317 Suburb Private
ITT Technical Institute - Omaha Animation | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Omaha, NE 617 City Private
Charlotte Technical Center Architecture | CAD, Drafting | Graphic Design Two-year school Port Charlotte, FL 461 Suburb Public
Lewis and Clark Community College Animation | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Godfrey, IL 8179 Town/Rural Public
Lehigh University Architecture | Graphic Design | Performing Arts Four-year school Bethlehem, PA 6996 City Private
Portland Community College Advertising | Animation | Architecture | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Landscape Architecture | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Portland, OR 30161 Suburb Public
Northwest Nazarene University Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Performing Arts Four-year school Nampa, ID 1950 City Private
Colorado Technical University - Greenwood Village Graphic Design Four-year school Greenwood Village, CO 1079 Suburb Private
Drexel University Architecture | Arts Management | Audio Production | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Philadelphia, PA 22493 City Private
Dominican University of California Graphic Design | Performing Arts Four-year school San Rafael, CA 2094 City Private
Westwood College - O'Hare Airport Animation | Architecture | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Chicago, IL 888 City Private
Western Iowa Tech Community College Architecture | CAD, Drafting | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Sioux City, IA 5829 City Public
University of Central Oklahoma Advertising | Arts Management | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography Four-year school Edmond, OK 16092 Suburb Public
Whatcom Community College Graphic Design Two-year school Bellingham, WA 4663 Town/Rural Public
Ozarks Technical Community College Graphic Design Two-year school Springfield, MO 12884 City Public
The New School Architecture | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Landscape Architecture | Performing Arts | Photography Four-year school New York, NY 10260 City Private
Muskegon Community College Advertising | Animation | Arts Management | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Muskegon, MI 5144 City Public
Daemen College Advertising | Arts Management | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration Four-year school Amherst, NY 2921 Suburb Private
California College of the Arts Animation | Architecture | Arts Management | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Oakland, CA 1828 City Private
Iowa Western Community College Architecture | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design Two-year school Council Bluffs, IA 6100 City Public
ITT Technical Institute - Lexington CAD, Drafting | Graphic Design | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Lexington, KY 617 Town/Rural Private
Westwood College - Northlake Animation | Architecture | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Atlanta, GA 490 Suburb Private
New England College Advertising | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Photography Four-year school Henniker, NH 2102 Town/Rural Private
Chattahoochee Valley Community College Graphic Design Two-year school Phenix City, AL 1902 Suburb Public
Westwood College - Inland Empire Animation | Architecture | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Upland, CA 1140 Suburb Private
Idaho State University Advertising | CAD, Drafting | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Pocatello, ID 13493 City Public
Lancaster County Career and Technology Center Advertising | Architecture | CAD, Drafting | Graphic Design | Photography | Web Design & New Media Less than two years Willow Street, PA 483 Town/Rural Public
Stevens - Henager College - Logan Graphic Design Four-year school Logan, UT 288 City Private
Ivy Tech Community College - Southwest Graphic Design | Interior Design Two-year school Evansville, IN 6189 City Public
ITT Technical Institute - Everett Animation | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Everett, WA 506 City Private
Rio Salado College Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Tempe, AZ 20865 Town/Rural Public
Northern State University Advertising | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Aberdeen, SD 2625 Town/Rural Public
ITT Technical Institute - Nashville Animation | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Nashville, TN 1041 City Private
ITT Technical Institute - Arlington CAD, Drafting | Graphic Design | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Arlington, TX 793 City Private
Lewis - Clark State College CAD, Drafting | Graphic Design | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Lewiston, ID 4200 City Public
Northeastern Junior College Graphic Design Two-year school Sterling, CO 2497 Town/Rural Public
Bridgewater State University Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Photography Four-year school Bridgewater, MA 10774 Suburb Public
Collins College Animation | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Visual Effects Four-year school Phoenix, AZ 1171 City Private



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