Interview with a Student

November 13th, 2013

Paul Kiesche Design is often contacted by students for advice on careers in graphic design. PKD was recently contacted by a Senior Graphic Design student from Georgian Court University with a request to interview our team for insights regarding our hiring standards, staff qualification process, and student-oriented employment opportunities. This request was part of a career preparation course she was asked to complete, which required her to interview a graphic design studio for which she had a strong interest in working. We are honored to have been chosen by her, and hope our insights below will be of great help to other students alike.

What are you looking for in an entry-level designer?
“The most important criteria to us are quality of work, an eye for detail and a creative portfolio. The individual must have original thoughts and ideas. We find that personality is also important as this is a team environment. A perspective designer needs to be motivated as well as able to get along with everyone. It’s important to see that they have had some work experience, whether it be an internship or with non-graphic work.”

Will you look at a printed portfolio? How many pieces should there be in a designer’s portfolio?
“A portfolio is an essential tool in your efforts for finding employment. We are happy to see a printed or digital portfolio with at least 8 to 15 pieces. We do not look at resumes unless the applicant sends at least 2 samples of their best work. All resumes must have a cover letter. We suggest that it is addressed to us, as well as be specific to what we are looking for and what the studio’s interests and needs are. If a designer wishes to email us their portfolio, they should send small file sizes in either PDF or JPEG format. However, we would prefer a link to an online portfolio.”

What software do you expect designers to know?
“We primarily use Adobe Creative Suite. The main programs that the studio uses are InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. We also use Dreamweaver and sometimes Flash, as well as work in Word and Excel for administrative & template designing purposes.”

Do the designers converse with the clients in terms of what they are looking for?
“Yes, but only recently. Designers will converse with the clients about project-specific matters, such as change requests, printing, or materials used. Designers are also brought in on kick-off meetings so they can fully understand the details of the project.”

What type of opportunities do you have for perspective designers? Does your firm have freelance opportunities?
“Currently, we have both in-house and freelance designers. We strive to have mainly in-house designers, but will also bring in freelancers when needed. For students, we offer an internship opportunity for a full semester.”

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