Amanda Siegmann—Graphic Designer and Advertising Support at Canada Wide Media
Congratulations on getting hired by your practicum placement! How's your first design job been so far?
Amazing! I feel super lucky to have gotten the position that seems perfectly suited to me, especially since, when I finished my practicum, there weren’t any positions available. I expressed my interest in wanting to work there and told them to keep me in mind if anything were to come up. Two weeks after my practicum had ended, I got called in to do freelance work for a few days. Then two weeks after that, one of the designers was leaving her position and I got a call asking if I would be interested in filling her role. I’ve been there ever since!
What are some of the more memorable highlights from your time at IDEA School of Design?
So many! Making lifelong friends through the IDEA program is a huge highlight for me. I originally graduated from the three year diploma program in 2015. During that time, my classmates became my family. We are still really close and definitely built a bond that is unique and unbreakable. I returned in fall 2017 to complete the fourth and final year of the new degree program. I was lucky enough to be accepted into this class with open arms and have extended my IDEA family.
Working on real-life worthy projects in a classroom setting really prepared me for success. My most memorable project is one I created in the first semester of my fourth year – Undivided. I wanted to tackle the problem of mobile technology addiction specifically of parents and how it affects their relationship with their children. It was a really interesting project and one I think could be implemented outside of the classroom. I was able to develop a realistic solution to a real-life problem I feel passionate about.
The IDEA program was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, filled with lots of work and many late nights, but it was so worth it and I loved every minute of it!
Tell us about the award you won
What type of projects are you currently working on?
Western Living magazine just held its latest event, Designers of the Year, where I had developed all of the event collateral, including choosing the colour palette, designing the invitations, event signage, and presentation slides. The event was a success and it was nice to see all of our hard work come together for the event.
I am also working on designing ads for Western Living and Vancouver magazines. This also involves some production work, as I have to check that ads supplied by the clients meet the print specifications.
I love that my role is varied and involves a variety of things. It keeps me busy and never gets boring!
Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
I hope to still be doing something with graphic design. Working full time on fun, challenging, meaningful projects. Wherever the future leads me, I hope to make a positive difference in the world through design.
If you could tell your pre-IDEA self one thing, what would it be?
It's a cliché but I'd tell myself that it will all work out. And to stress a little less. I think it's unavoidable to feel stressed sometimes but I have learned to let go of what I can't control and it's really worked to reduce my stress levels. Also, I’d tell myself to stop procrastinating and start my projects right away. During school, I would overthink everything before starting on a project and I've learned the best thing to do is to just start!
Lastly, what advice would you give to prospective students considering applying for IDEA School of Design, in particular, alumni who are considering taking the 4th year to get their Bachelor of Design?
I would encourage anyone who is interested to apply. When I was first considering applying for the program, I was nervous that I wouldn't get in. However, I decided I should just apply as I didn't have anything to lose. If I didn't get in, it wasn't meant to be. As it was, I got accepted and it was better than I could have imagined.
After graduating in 2015, I worked for EDG Experience Design Group where I designed signage and wayfinding. It was really interesting and I worked on some pretty cool projects including designing signage and wayfinding for Langara College – where I previously studied prior to the IDEA program. After two years working at EDG, I wanted to switch gears and focus more on branding.
I had a decision to make: get another job, or go back to school. I decided to go back to school as I wanted to revamp my portfolio, brush up on my skills, and earn a degree. For me, it was the right move and I'm so glad I did it. I achieved all of my goals and got a great job out of it, too!
For more on Amanda, see: amandasiegmann.ca