My grad experience so far is essentially a series of picturesque moments placed sparingly between masses and masses of work.
Concepting > Executing > Presenting > Concepting > Executing > Presenting. Forever.
The great thing about the Brandcenter is that it creates a community wherein everyone is dying to succeed. We all push each other to do better, work harder; but we also understand the importance of exploring our new city and gaining a perspective outside our awesomely designed post-modern-industrial building. With the program totaling 200 students (about 100 2nd years and 100 1st years), there is always someone to turn to, someone with shared interests, adventurous spirits and advice to give.
My program is hard. So, so hard. In fact, during a Friday Forum session, Martin Agency director Mike Hughes said, “I have sons who attended graduate school at both Harvard and Yale. This is no Harvard or Yale. It’s harder.”
It’s our 1,000th post, y’all!
Thank you to all our amazing followers for keeping up with us over this past year and more. College still feels like yesterday, but there are tons new stories to come! This month has seen some big changes in our lives:
CKB left for grad school in Virginia to attend the VCU Brandcenter, where she is creating kick-ass designs and making a name for herself with her fiery
hair personality. If you’re a design student with any questions about branding or how to get experience, ask CKB.
Malia’s magazine world was turned on its head when a new editor arrived to take her recently-retired boss’ place. But she landed two huge features in this month’s issue, and a full-page spread where she spilled one big secret. If you’re interested in working in magazines or want tips on moving to New York, ask Malia.
Jen moved to London where she’s attending grad school at King’s College. She’s studying International Relations, trying out for musicals and learning how to live in another country on next to nothing. If you have questions about moving to Europe or applying to foreign universities, ask Jen.
Tas has finished her Fulbright in Turkey, and after two months at home she’s moving to New York (in six days!) to find an apartment, job and new life. She’s writing freelance and researching PhD programs, because she finally knows where her future is going. If you need help with grant proposals, want advice for getting money to work abroad, or have advice for a new New Yorker, ask Tas.
One of several assignments for my Creative Thinking class this week was to design a business card (beyond the standard 2.5x3 cardstock format) that expresses my personal brand.
Because of my love for craft beers and good conversation, I decided to go with a series of coasters. Each would invite the client out for a drink, but the subject would change.
Let’s get a drink and talk about type.
Let’s get a drink and talk about color.
Let’s get a drink and talk about photography.
Let’s get a drink and talk about design.
Let’s get a drink and talk about concepts.
Thinking about actually getting these made.
Would you get a drink with me?
MY GRADUATE PROGRAM IS AN UNEXPLAINABLE MINDFUCK
WHY I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE PROUD OF A GRADE THAN THIS D-
I haven’t spoken much about the intensity of my graduate program at VCU. Mostly because I’ve been dividing my time between 3 hour “naps,” all-nighters, group meetings and brainstorming sessions.
At any given moment, I have 5 projects running simultaneously. Probably more. I also have infinite assigned readings, blogging, comps and proposals to prepare.
The biggest stress-ball of a class is titled “Business of Branding,” and as the name suggests, we study the business aspects of marketing, advertising, and well, branding. For the creatives (copy writers, art directors, and sometimes creative technologists) the subject is a challenge. We’re spending our time doing reading, writing and ‘rithmatic rather than our usual Adobe Creative Suites-intensive assignments.
From day 1 we were warned about this class; about the work load, the readings, about our professor and how intense he is, how he’ll interrupt you during a presentation to tell you your hand gestures are distracting him, how you’ll be shut down for saying something stupid, because, well, you better know what the fuck you’re talking about.
So yeah, when he was passing out the graded version of our first written assignment, and I got a D-, the small group of people around me and I celebrated my genius. Because not failing here, is the same as being freaking amazing anywhere else.
Grad school is hard, y’all. But I really freaking love it.
- CKB: I get up in the...morning.
- Tas: What?! You?
- CKB: I know! And I do my work, come home and feel tired. Then I go to sleep at night.
- Tas: This is unheard of.