Newhouse designers! If my four years at Syracuse University represented an authentic design experience, your time at the Newhouse School will be fantastic. But nearly 10 years after graduating, here’s what I would do differently if I enrolled today:
- Invest additional time with Steve Masiclat: To this day, he’s my favorite SU professor. He’s funny, brutally honest, and his teaching challenges you.
- More “fake” projects: Make up a company and design everything for them. This shows off your design skills and develops your thinking around brand development.
- Read “Design is a Job” by Mike Monteiro: It gets better every time I read it. The book/guide teaches the fundamentals of succeeding as a designer outside the cozy University culture.
- Experiment with a different medium: Create a podcast. Or a video series. Design t-shirts. Dive into photography… something where design plays a crucial role. It’s essential to stretch your skill set and do things that make you feel uncomfortable (but also create great equity in your personal brand). Not everything you develop will work – and that’s the point! You’ll learn from the duds and the successes alike.
- Explore the city: I wish I had invested more time in downtown Syracuse, specifically the arts scene. Attend an event, show, or simply walk around downtown once a month. It will introduce you to other folks who live creatively.
Know that your time at Syracuse is incredibly valuable and finite. Take advantage of your design freedoms to create something powerful. Go forth!