In a way, I wish my life and pursuits resembled a movie:
Imagine as the camera pans to a younger, much more hip version of me wandering the hallways of my Los Angeles high school making friends and high-fiving teachers. Movie-version Ann wrote for the school newspaper, participated in yearbook, and contributed to the debate team. She also probably led the basketball team to four state championships. Inspired by her geographic location, she pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and worked for the best entertainment agencies in Los Angeles.
Except this wasn’t the case.
Discovering the MS in Communications Program
I was quiet and pensive and weighed the meaning of every word. Of course, this would only happen in my head. I dabbled in poetry and some writing, but nothing that indicated that I would end up in a communications program at any point in my life. With a knack for art and color, I pursued a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. I finally fell in love with design three years into the program as I was sitting in my first typography class. Each letter came together to form a word. And, as the words came together, they created a beautiful message. I am that person that scoffs at signs in Comic Sans and judges a restaurant harshly if they use Papyrus on their menu because I know the message is getting lost.
Beginning my Communications Career
Two years after graduation, I landed my dream job as the graphic designer at a community college. I continue to do what I love in a place that inspires me. Over the course of nine years, I have had the fortune to expand my skills and experience beyond design to include brand management, message development, and social media. While I have spent most of my career focused on visual communication, I realized that good design is only part of the conversation. I reached a point where my work experience needed the proper academic support to be able to grow professionally.
And, here I am. As I approach the end of the MS in Communications program at Purdue, through readings and discussions, I am able to appreciate the importance of the right message, how to develop it, and how to communicate it. I have learned from the best professors and interacted with fellow students all of whom will continue to influence me as I grow in my career and explore new possibilities. Communications, whether visual or in the traditional sense, is ultimately creative problem solving.
Sure, my life’s movie isn’t exactly an Academy Award winner, and I am okay with that. I didn’t follow a traditional path, and, truthfully, I couldn’t be happier. The soundtrack and story are far better than anything I could have planned.
Find out more about advancing your career with a Master of Science in Communication with Purdue University online. Request more information or call 877-497-5851.
About the Author
Ann Simon is a graphic designer with over ten years of experience working with a variety of industries. I currently work at a community college in Los Angeles, California, and feel fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be a part of students’ lives while doing what I love. My skills range from branding, all aspects of print design, web design, and social media.
When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, chasing my niece and nephews, spoiling my dog Pixel, and discovering new coffee places around Los Angeles.
*The views and opinions expressed are of the author and do not represent the Brian Lamb School of Communication.