Jamie Chan, a 2012 graduate of the Graphic Design program at Mount Ida feels like the luckiest man on the planet. He’s doing what he loves, in a great place, with creative people and making a good living at it.
“Every day when I walk in the door as Lead Graphic Designer at Margulies Perruzzi Architects. I feel really lucky,” Jamie says. “I’m living my dream, but I didn’t take the usual path to get here.”
Jamie attended community college, and only decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in his late 20s. He worked freelance for several years, then began exploring colleges to find the right match.
“I had a friend in the 3-D animation and graphics program at Mount Ida who was very happy there, so I came to campus, spoke to the professors and took a tour, but one of the deciding factors was I offered a generous scholarship.”
Initially Jamie was concerned that his being older than the traditional student, or his years of professional experience might make the classes less challenging. But, it was quite the opposite. “What I liked the most, was the professors recognized that I had been working in the field for several years and were able to provide individualized attention, as if they were a creative director working with an employee. With their help, I was able to enhance my skills and talent, take them to the next level and forge my career path.”
When graduation loomed, Jamie checked out the listings from the Career Services Department at Mount Ida, and “that’s where I saw the listing for my current job. I researched the company, culture, sent my resume, had a series interviews and the rest, as they say, is history.”
One of Jamie’s biggest and proudest moments was being asked to design a mural depicting science and technology that is to appear on the wall on the newly-created School of Applied Sciences Center at Mount Ida. “I spent hours doing my homework in the building when I was a student and it was pretty boring. Now, I’m helping to create a new, vibrant space at my alma mater. I feel like I’m giving back in a way.”
Jamie’s advice for current students at Mount Ida is to not be too eager to grab the first job they are offered. “It’s better to wait than take a position that isn’t right, that you end up disliking and having to leave. If you’re patient and fortunate like I am, you’ll end up excited to open that door each morning.”