Alumni Interviews: Meet a Few of Our Newest Alumni

Interior Design alumna Jessica Katterheinrich joined WD Partners after graduation.

Every year, more than 200 students join the ranks of the 10,000 CCAD alumni living around the world. But we don’t send them out into the world unprepared. Beginning in freshman year, students work with Career Services and their professors to develop portfolios, resumes, and cover letters. They meet with alumni in mock interviews and experience the rigors of the Directions Career Fair. For some, all of this hard work results in a real-world job lined up before the ink on their diploma is even dry. So we asked them: What’s it feel like to graduate with work lined up?

Dayna Carli Smith, Advertising & Graphic Design
Where she’s headed:
GSW Worldwide
“I am so excited to see how dreams can come true. I’ve been working hard for so long it’s amazing to see how it all pays off. It makes me want to work even harder, like I have been given a gift that I do not want to squander. And it makes me happy to make my parents proud, knowing they were worried about me going into a field so difficult to get a job in. I’m glad I can look at them and tell them I made the right decision and have proof to back it up with.”

Ryan Richmond, Fashion Design
Where he’s headed: Abercrombie & Fitch

“It's a wonderful feeling, having work lined up before graduating, and quite honestly, I wasn't expecting this outcome. I'm extremely grateful, however, not only for being hired while still a student, but also for the support and instruction I got from my teachers at CCAD; they truly care about the success of their students and make it a point to push us to be the best designers and artists we can be. I'm excited for what my future holds and can only thank CCAD and the people I've grown close to over the years!”

Kristen Macauley, Fine Arts
Where she’s headed:
The Jones Group
“Honestly, it’s nerve-racking. Looking back on freshman year, I never knew I would be here today. I am about to move into a world filled with creative individuals looking for a moment to shine, and I can't wait for mine. When I first started to apply for jobs, I thought most of them were a long shot. Then I had an interview with Jones New York and the next thing I knew I started packing for New York City. I feel very fortunate that the Jones Apparel Group provided me with such a wonderful opportunity. Not only do I have a job, but it is in my field of choice. I couldn't ask for anything more.”

Jessica Katterheinrich, Interior Design
Where she’s headed:
WD Partners
“It makes all the nights I slept on the studio floor instead of my own bed feel worth it.”

Taehee Lee, Media Studies
Where she’s headed:
Left ChannelI am relieved and excited to work on something I really love doing. It just feels great. Most of my Korean friends are probably a bit jealous. My main focus was always going to graduate school, and I did get accepted, but I was offered a job and made the last minute decision to accept it over graduate school.  When I was offered the job, all I could think was, I need to seize this opportunity because grad school will always be there but this may not.” Editor’s Note: Taehee was also this year’s Media Studies Outstanding Senior. You can read a full interview with her here.