CCAD Seniors Going in the Right ‘Directions’

May 1st, 2012 by Katlin McNally
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Business representatives look over students' portfolios at Directions

Where can you find big-name companies such as Express, Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, and Skreened, right alongside all our fresh, ready-to-enter-the-world CCAD talent? At Directions, CCAD’s reverse Career Fair, where things are a bit different. At this career fair, more than 100 students are stationed at booths organized by major, with their portfolios laid out, ready to pitch to business representatives from small, large, and international companies.

This year Directions was held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Columbus on April 25, 2012.

“It is the passion that really drives me to come to this event every year,” says Bob Campell, creative director at Victoria’s Secret and 2000 Industrial Design alumnus. “Coming to these events you get to not only see what talent is coming into the work-force, but you also get inspired seeing fresh, young, passionate designers and creatives presenting their ideas.”

Bob Campbell was one of the many professionals who returned to visit the fair this year. Another was Lileah Porter from Tween Brands who came to check out the talent in the Fashion Design department.

“Last year we hired one full-time individual, and we also had some internships come from this,” Porter said. “I love the way CCAD sets this up. Here the students can have all their information and portfolios spread out, and they can present to us in a more relaxed environment.”

Dion Utt, a Fine Arts senior, was excited and eager for the professionals to walk in the door.

Joel VanGilder stands in front of his booth at Directions

“This is really a chance to present myself to the business world and help get my name out there,” Utt said. “The real benefit is being able to network. There aren’t many opportunities like this where you can have a diverse crowd of professionals who are all 100% interested in what you do.”

Not far from Utt, was Joel VanGilder, an Industrial Design senior who is already working as a designer for Worthington Cylinders and brought his coworkers to the event to scout out more talent.

“It is nice to have this exposure as a student,” Van Gilder said. “I was lucky to get placed in a job already, and I am using this time to continue to pitch myself to companies. It is interesting because there are a lot of companies that you may not know even existed who are looking for a product that you can help create with them. As a designer it is important to think outside of your niche sometimes and look at companies that may host a wide range of products and may need an illustrator or an industrial designer and this is an opportunity to discover that.”

Daniel Fox, founder of Skreened, roamed the Illustration and Advertising & Graphic Design aisles searching for talent to fill in as freelance designers for his Columbus clothing company.

“CCAD and Columbus are great places to pull local talent and creatives from,” Fox said. “This is my first time coming here, and I am really excited to be able to look at all these students’ work and see if there is a fit for us.”

Skreened owner Daniel Fox examines a student's work

Christian Cimoroni, an illustration senior, views this as a final step before he enters the real world.

“I feel accomplished,” Cimoroni said. “After all this work I can stand out here confident and talk to these professionals. I can gain a lot of contacts and start to network with people in Columbus.”

Ted Smirniotopoulous, Photography senior, was also really excited about the networking opportunities Directions allowed.

“This is a really good opportunity to meet and connect with people. I want to be able to expand my horizons and continue to learn after I graduate, and this is a perfect outlet to meet people from companies all around Columbus, whether local, national, or international.”

The event hosted students from all nine CCAD majors: Advertising & Graphic Design, Animation, Cinematic Arts, Fashion Design, Fine Arts, Illustration, Industrial Design, Interior Design, and Photography. More than 600 professionals representing close to 400 businesses attended the event.

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