At the end of the academic year, CCAD deans present the Outstanding Seniors for their divisions. Today, in part two of our 10-part Outstanding Senior series, meet Advertising & Graphic Design major Chavilah Bennett.
Q) What was your proudest achievement at CCAD?
A) One of my proudest achievements would definitely be this—being named an outstanding senior. Another achievement would be the general growth I have undergone. Everyone comes here as a high school student, and we leave here as educated adults; I think that is a big achievement.
Q) What scared you the most while you were at CCAD?
A) It would probably be just getting a job after graduation, which is probably everyone’s fear. I didn’t have many fears while here, because everyone is so accepting and helpful that is hard to be fearful of anything.
Q) What are your plans after graduation?
A) I am going to make a big move—to California, New York City, or London. Right now I am doing some freelance work and have been working with a nonprofit company that participated in Startup Weekend here on campus, so I will probably continue to volunteer my time with them until I leave Columbus.
Q) What is your ultimate dream job or goal?
A) I want to be the creative director of a company. I want it to be in a big city, because I love the energy and life there. I want to be working somewhere that is full of creative people who have the drive to try new things and are interested in new technology.
Q) Why is it important as an alumna to continue to give back to your alma mater?
A) I think it is very important to give back and to help future artists and the future of CCAD. Most of us are attending this school because alumni have given back and we were able to receive a scholarship. Right now, I am working on the 2012 senior class gift. Since a lot of us don’t have the financial means to donate, we gave a piece to be sold at the CCAD Spring Art Sale, and those proceeds will be given to the scholarship fund.
Q) Do you remember a single point that made you sit back and say, “This is why I am doing this?”
A) All of the time. I always get that feeling, especially when I am in the middle of a really great project and someone comes up and says “great work” or offers me encouragement. I also get that rewarding feeling when I interview for jobs. For instance, I worked with American Greetings over the summer and to have Dan Weiss [senior creative recruiter at American Greetings] come in and talk to me was an “ah-ha” moment.
Q) What smells, words, objects, or whatever will always remind you of your time here as a student?
A) Ramen, “all nighter,” and burnt popcorn. I remember whenever someone would burn popcorn in the dorm we would all have to leave the dorm in the middle of the night, often after we were asleep and in pajamas, and stand outside in the cold.
Q) What will you miss the most?
A) I will miss that during the time I was here I was surrounded by creatives who were all in the process of learning. Our main responsibility was to learn, and we had this freedom to do just that, learn and grow.
Q) If you can describe what graduating feels like in one word, what would it be?
A) Terrifying—it feels as though I am on the top of a roller coaster. I have worked four years to get to the top, and I am just crossing that edge where all of a sudden you are about to go down. Below you there are opportunities, and you can see everything. I feel as though I am looking down at the entire world. I have a mix of anticipation and fear, but excitement about everything.
Q) What was your favorite class while at CCAD?
A) They all had their ups and downs, but I enjoyed my last Advertising & Graphic Design class. It was nice to be surrounded by seniors who knew that they were in the right major and going down the right path. We were able to focus on our work and really push each other to new limits.
Q) What did you like to do during your free time?
A) I like to illustrate; I definitely want to start working on my illustrations more. I also like to travel, and in June I am going to South Carolina for a trip. I have a creative side that includes dance and music. After graduation I want to make more time for playing the harp and start writing my own music again.
Q) What is your fondest memory at CCAD?
A) They are all fond memories, I don’t know if I can pick just one. Even when I was crying late at night due to the stress of a project, I still would love to go back and repeat it all.
Q) If you could go back, what would you change?
A) I would have learned where to look for research. What the school is doing now with the library and those resources is beneficial to current and future students. I wish I would have learned those resources more; it definitely would have saved me a lot of time.
Q) What advice would you give to future CCAD students?
A) The time at CCAD is a process that everyone has to go through and learn their own path. Embrace every moment, because it doesn’t last long, and it will be over before you know it.
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