RGD HeadStart Conference: Part 2

The second half of the RGD HeadStart conference was just as jam-packed with useful information as the first half, plus with extra free goodies (seen above). The presentations exceeded my expectations and made me think about things I wouldn’t have otherwise considered such as how to be a successful freelancer. I also got much needed advice on how to approach interviews, and how to lessen the anxiety when it comes to networking. During the talks, we were encouraged to tweet pieces of information and quotes that we found valuable during the conference. To my utter surprise, I was selected as one of the winners of the contest. I received a book called Playing with Sketches: 50 Creative Exercises for Designers and Artists by Whitney Sherman. As a book lover and artist, I was over the moon. I now have a way to help combat art-block, and I can fill my sketchbooks with new ideas.

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RGD Headstart Conference: Part 1

abby-headstart

I was generously invited to attend the RGD HeadStart Conference by the kind folks over at Creative Niche. HeadStart is RGD‘s largest conference for emerging designers and students. There are various presentations and panels that discuss the latest trends in the design industry, how to land your dream job, how to start a successful freelancing career, and more! Their experienced speakers guided us through the process of creating a strong portfolio, and also gave invaluable interview tips. One-on-one portfolio review sessions allowed industry professionals to give us constructive criticism on our work. It also gave us the chance to practice our interview skills. It was a full, jam-packed day, and I learned so much that it couldn’t be contained in one blog post. Let’s begin!

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The Ever-Changing World of the Web

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Sabaa Quao came to speak to us about the changing landscape of marketing and web design. He is the co-founder and President of /newsrooms, a company that started in 2012 and since grew into a network that builds continuous content marketing and social media coverage for brands like TD Bank, KPMG, Citrix, Audi, and more. The most important lesson I took away from Sabaa’s talk was that we shouldn’t get too comfortable with the technology we’re using today because it will soon change. Adobe CS6 will evolve into a new version, as will all our other programs and devices. The question is, will we keep up with the change?

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The Destiny Philosophy and Nipping Fate in the Bud

Steve and Courtney

Steve Coomber and Courtney Verk came by to visit from Mosaic, an agency that specializes in helping brands connect with consumers. Mosaic is a leader in experiential marketing and retail services; in short, they help brands come to life. Steve and Courtney shared their experiences with different clients as well as practical tips and advice regarding how to handle tough situations in the workplace. They held an open Q&A that allowed us to probe into their professional life and ask the tough questions like “what is the creative process like at Mosaic?” and “what is Gillian Chubb‘s middle name?” (now I know that the answer is Sarah–just like my middle name). Most importantly, they shared the scoop on ~The Destiny Philosophy~, wolf moon pics and all.

…Yes, I said WOLF MOON pics. If that isn’t a strong enough hook, I don’t know what is.

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Reach Out and Take Risks

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This week, through the wonders of Skype video chat, we had a special guest speaker from sunny California. Shernaz Pavri is a former grad of the Sheridan web design program (woot, represent!). She is currently a User Experience Designer at LinkedIn, and previously worked for a variety of companies including the big boys like American Express and Apple. In her talk she covered a lot of ground. Everything from her typical work day, to the importance of networking was discussed. Above all, she definitely practiced what she preached and is a good role model for aspiring designers.

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