2016 Emerging Professionals Workshop

2016 Emerging Professionals Workshop

Saturday February 27, 2016 9:15 AM - 3:30 PM
Western Connecticut State University

AIGA Connecticut presents our annual Emerging Professionals Workshop! Hear from successful recent graduates and experienced creatives on how to make the jump from design student to professional, pick up career-seeking tips in our presentation sessions, and get your portfolio reviewed one-on-one by creative professionals from across the state.

The Emerging Professionals Workshop walks participants through the job hunting process, addressing portfolio preparation and presentation, job application, interviewing, follow-up, and networking.

We recruit more than twenty-five experienced creatives to participate in the portfolio review so that each student can meet individually with 2-3 professionals. Students should bring their portfolios or five pieces of work (on an iPad or laptop, or in print). You can view and print our portfolio guideline sheet here.

Want to expand your professional network? Mingle with our panelists and reviewers at our post-event social, and speak to a recruiter from The Creative Group, which specializes in connecting interactive, design, marketing, advertising, and public relations talent with the best companies. Student attendees have been hired by reviewers in the past, so bring your best self.

This event is free!

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9:15 - 9:45 Registration and Breakfast
10:00 - 11:00 How I Landed a Great Job after Graduation - Recent Grad Panel Discussion
11:00 - 12:00 What Employers Are Looking for - Experienced Creatives Panel Discussion
12:00 - 12:30 Lunch
12:30 - 1:30 Portfolio Reviews
1:30 - 2:30 Essential Tips for Landing the Job You Want
2:30 - 3:30 Social with Refreshments - Socialize and Build Your Creative Community

Saturday, February 27
WestConn Visual & Performing Arts Center
Westside Campus
43 Lake Avenue Extension
Danbury, CT 06811
View campus map
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Brian Grabell, Chief Creative Director, MadisonMott
Brian hates talking about himself, but for you he'll make an exception. He is a CT native and over the past 13 years has worked in small, medium, and large shops throughout the state as well as volunteered his time for AIGA CT and the Connecticut Art Directors Club (CADC) where he served many positions on the Board including President.

Brian believes in sketching and thinking above all and understands the nuances of caffeine intake and the importance of being creative.

He looks forward to the opportunity to most likely screw up his presentation and subsequently blush, but will do his best and hopes he can impart some wisdom or at least not bore you to death.


Kathleen Losche, Art Director, Gartner
Kathleen Losche is the Art Director at Gartner, Inc.; a global IT research and advisory company. At Gartner, Kathleen manages a team of seven designers who support a fast-paced, high-demand organization in both digital and traditional marketing efforts. In past lives Kathleen had her own design business where she catered to institutional, non-profit and small business clients; she taught typography at O’More College of Design in Nashville; and began her career working with clients like the NYC Olympic Bid at Two Twelve Associates. Kathleen has a BFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design.


 Jean Page, Partner, SVP Partners
Jean Page, partner, SVP partners, is an accomplished designer and art director with over 30 years experience in design and advertising. Jean’s work ranges from identity/branding programs and systems, marketing and collateral, digital media, annual reports, advertising and sales promotion, packaging, signage, and exhibit design. Jean is a citizen of the United States and throughout her career has worked in the United States and Canada for six premier design firms. Jean has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Communication Design from Rochester Institute of Technology which includes studies at the School of Printing at RIT and the School of Photography at RIT. She has been a judge for several global professional competitions and has served on the board of the Connecticut Art Directors Club. The partners' accomplishments have been featured in AIGA Design Annuals, Art Direction, Black Book AR100, Communication Arts, Graphic Design:USA, Graphis, Print Design Annuals, HOW Magazine, Studio Magazine and Warren Annual Report Trends.


Chris Piascik
After starting his career as a graphic designer at award-winning studios in New England, Chris accidentally became an illustrator. He’s pretty happy about that. This strange transformation was a result of his daily drawing project that he started in late 2007, in fact he’s still posting a new drawing every day. In addition to those drawings, he makes other drawings for clients such as Facebook, Coca-Cola, Nike, Ogilvy, Nickelodeon, and more. Chris received his MFA in Illustration, and BFA in Visual Communication Design from the University of Hartford's Hartford Art School.

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Dale Darden, Graphic Designer, BioSafe Systems
Dale has had his eye on graphic design ever since his freshman year of high school, where he first learned how to use Photoshop. Once enrolled at Tunxis Community College, he officially started his pursuit of a career in graphic design by choosing that as his major. Shortly afterwards, he transferred to CCSU, where he would go on to graduate with a Bachelors degree in Graphic Design. In his final semester, he was able to land major opportunities with NBC Connecticut, as well ESPN The Magazine learning under experts in the industry. With those experiences under his belt, he was able to land his first full time job shortly after graduation, as a Graphic Designer for BioSafe Systems, LLC. While Dale is away from the office, he enjoys many different activities including, weight training, and cooking, and spending time with family. Lastly, he enjoys his lifestyle of being behind the camera as a freelance Photographer.


Kristin Hawley, Art Director, Mars Agency
Kristin Hawley is an Art Director in NYC who has a passion for problem solving. She has worked with a variety of clients ranging from Fortune 500 to local Connecticut companies. Recently she developed campaigns for Campbell's Soup Company, Absolut Vodka, and Brancott Wines. With a background in print and digital design, she strives to deliver highly conceptual, modern design. In her spare time she enjoys running, traveling, decorating, cooking, and exploring new places.


Kathryn McKean, Senior Graphic Designer, Primacy
Kathryn McKean graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2010 with a BFA in Communication Design. Currently she is a Senior Graphic Designer at Primacy in Farmington working with clients in higher education, healthcare, and financial industries. She has also taught as an adjunct professor of design at UConn and is a board member of the Connecticut Art Directors Club.


Stephanie Moran, Art Director, Bon Art
My name is Stephanie Moran and I am the Art Director for the fine art publisher, Bon Art. I started my design career in the wall & home décor industry. I have been involved in various aspects of the industry for more than 7 years. I started as an intern creating basic designs for print and canvas, but now manage a number of artists and help them create images that are up to commercial art standards. I am also in direct contact with stores such as Target, Home Goods, and Walmart in order to provide them with the newest trends for Home Decor. The combination of the knowledge gained at Bon Art and my love for cute design led me to start my own business, so over 5 years ago I started my own brand, Tainted Sweets. With Tainted Sweets I get the chance to create fun illustrations and design plush toys. My brand has given me the opportunity to travel and sell at various anime and comic book conventions throughout the east coast and seeing first hand the joy that my designs bring to others.


Jessie Sattler, Production Designer, Tinybop
Jessie Sattler is an artist and designer in the NYC tech startup community, working in both print and digital media. She currently works at Tinybop Inc, creating elegant, educational iOS apps for curious kids around the world. Before that, she worked for designer Kelli Anderson, assisting in various projects, installations, and stop-motion animations. Jessie studied Visual Communication Design and Art History a Hartford Art School, University of Hartford. She also served as AIGA CT Student Director her senior year.

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Many thanks to our Silver Sponsor, The Creative Group
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When & Where
Tue, Nov 30, -0001