Jessi Swenson - Alumni Stories from the Department of Art and Design | Judson University Christian College
Jessi Swenson

Jessi Swenson

Visual Communications, 2008
Senior Graphic Designer
515 Design Group
Big Rock, IL


What do you do in your current job and what do you enjoy about it?
In my current position I am the lead go-to, print designer at the office, other than my boss. I really enjoy the variety of work that comes through the office. Because it's a smaller office of people, I really enjoy the camaraderie that we all have for each other. To work things through and to get a job done, at a quick pace but not lacking quality. I really enjoy the position because, though I still work under my boss, he gives me the freedom and responsibility as a designer to create. And the added responsibility helps me continue to grow as a designer, and I hope that process never ends.

How did your Judson experience influence you professionally? What were your favorite parts of being a Judson student?
I think Judson really taught me to be confident in my work and to take time to make it a quality piece or job but, at the same time, not be afraid to take chances and experiment. I had a really great group of professors that encouraged me and challenged me to push harder and do better. But they also took the time, and that makes all the difference to a struggling young soul who is trying to learn and find their way in life. My professors were instrumental in forming my views on Graphic Design, art and the world around me. They were and are all great people to look up to and they influenced me more than my peers at the time. I am grateful to have such influences.

What are the strengths of your major/program at Judson?
I think the strengths of Judson's Visual Communications Major is the professors. They pushed to stay up to date with a rapidly changing major and profession as best they could. With that push it encouraged students to stay up to date, push themselves and learn as much as they could before they went out into the professional world.

What advice can you give to current and prospective students about their time at Judson?
I say, take in as much as you can. Read, listen to your professors, and draw, draw, draw! The conversation between your hand and your mind is a valuable thing, even as a graphic designer. Never lose sight of the ability and power one has being able to visually communicate something without words. Push through all your classes; you never know what will spark the next great idea. This is the time you have to learn and facilitate your skills, don't lose sight of this time you are here; it will never be easier to learn than in this environment.

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