2015 Creative Cover Finalists

Our Top 10 Finalists for the 2015 Creative Cover Contest!

Thank you to all the students who submitted all the creative and beautiful artwork.  If you are in the Top 10, our panel of art judges will be now ranking your artwork for our 2015 Creative Cover Contest winner and our 2 runner ups.

Finalist in alphabetical order:

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Michael Heinz – Art Teacher of the Year Nominee

Michael HeinzStudent Kaytee Walker nominated her art teacher, Michael Heinz, for the 2015 Creative Outlook Magazine’s Art Teacher of the Year. Heinz teaches at Fruitport Community Schools in Fruitport, Michigan.

According to Walker, Mr. Heinz should be named Creative Outlook Magazine’s Art Teacher of the Tear “because he is an inspiration.” She goes on to say:

He pushes the students to do their best, even if they do not want to achieve it themselves. By giving assignments with loose guidelines, Mr. Heinz forces his students to express their creativity; resulting in no two pieces ever being the same. I think by doing this he helps students achieve their own artistic vision which is one of the hardest things to do. While he faces many problems with students unwilling to take the time to try out his methods, he always comes to class with a smile on his face greeting everyone that enters his classroom. He is always there whenever someone needs help. He just knows if you’re struggling by the look on your face. I have always liked art, but it was not until high school when I had Mr. Heinz that my true passion was ignited. He has taught me so much, and showed me how to look at art in different ways. One of the most important lessons I have learned from him is there comes a time when every artist needs to put down thebrush or pencil and be done with a piece. This is extremely hard for me because I’m a perfectionist. However, with Mr. Heinz’s unwavering patience, I was able to learn when to call a piece done. He is also one of the kindest teachers there is, a dying breed that actually takes the time to learn more about his students in order to make their experience more enjoyable. I sincerely hope I can be like him one day. He’s not just an amazing art teacher, but also an AMAZING role model.

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7 Tips to Graduate from College in 4 Years

You are taking the next step, you are ready to further your education and receive your degree and accept your dream job.  All you have to do now is go to college and get in and get out in 4 years, right?  Well…

84% of students think they will graduate in 4 years.

Only 38% actually graduate in 4 years.


Graduation Stats

This will cause additional costs, living expenses, and longer time before start your future career.  The longer you are in college, the higher likelihood that your normal life will get in the way and decrease your chances of graduating.  Why is graduating in 4 years important?  Each additional year of college can cost you over $15,000 in tuition, fees, room and board.  Also, many schools offer a Finish in Four program that includes financial benefits for students.  Finishing in the least amount of time possible can help you save money.  Right now you might be a little scared, but after reading these tips you can be prepared for the challenges ahead and have a plan to graduate from college in 4 Years!

There are many causes to adding an extra year or two or three or FOUR of college, here are some of the most common:

  • Changing Majors – 50% of students change majors at least one time in college. (Penn State University)
    *Changing to a major not offered at your current school can cause this next issue…
  • College Choice – your initial college choice was not what you thought it would be, you will need to make a switch.
  • Transferring – transferring credits can be wasted if not properly planned while enrolled.  National averages show 30% of students don’t return their sophomore year. (NCES)
  • Course Selection – Taking the correct courses towards your degree, will help you stay on track to graduate on time. Registering for classes that don’t go towards your major could be extra credit hours that cost you more in course fees.  Another challenge is course availability.  Classes can fill up quickly, therefore the student cannot sign up for the course for the upcoming semester.
  • Cost – the cost of college has increased every year and can be too expensive if not budgeted properly in the beginning – tuition, fees, books, pizza, room and board, meals, travel, parking, MORE PIZZA!
  • Family or Personal Challenges – you need to take time off or take less credit hours each semester and manage any life experiences.
  • GPA – most colleges require a certain GPA to enter a specialized school or degree program, failure to hit that mark might mean repeating classes to increase your GPA.

Did we miss any?  Comment below for any reasons that could lead to not graduating in 4 Years.

So now you know what to avoid and how to plan for your future, here are tips to help you graduate.

7 Tips to Graduate in 4 Years:

  1. Start your planning early in high school, as early as sophomore year:
    • What classes do you like, which ones do you hate?
    • What extracurricular activities do you enjoy outside of the classroom?
    • Get a summer job, preferably in a field you are interested in following, to gain experience and see if you like a specific career path.
  2. Find your Major and Career path before College:
    • Take a quiz to figure out what is best for your strengths and weaknesses.  Take the College Major Quiz to find your recommended majors.
    • Research the major and career field – what types of students major in this, which classes will I take (do they coincide with the classes in #1?), what are the career potentials (salary, job growth, careers where I live).
    • Create a back-up plan – OK, I know you have your dream job and major in mind, but the reality is 50% of students change their majors at least once.  Even if it is in the same “School of…” you at least have a plan for taking the right classes.  For example: if you are thinking about Finance, many of the other business majors (Accounting, Marketing, Management, etc) might be a good fit as well for you, but make sure you have these in mind so you take the right classes.  Even if you are thinking Finance or Biology, make sure you understand the core classes that you need to have completed by the beginning of your junior year.  Or even think about a minor in one of those fields.
  3. Find the right College:
    • Create a list of schools that offer your intended major (and backup), and research which schools you can afford financially each year.  Look to FAFSA, scholarships and merit aid to get down to your estimated net tuition.  Find out what schools you can afford by visiting the Tuition tab on your School’s page.
    • Create time the spring of your junior year, during the summer, or fall of senior year to visit your list of colleges.  One of the common reasons for transferring or dropping out is because that campus might not be right for you, do your research, read reviews, watch videos and talk to actual students and alumni to get personal experiences.  Visit with academic advisors to talk about the program you are interested in enrolling, they will help you start your course planning and give you required courses to complete for graduation.  (Here a list of good questions to ask)
  4. Confirm your plan with Counselor, Teacher, Parent or Mentor while in High School:
    • These individuals will help you take the next steps to fulfilling your college and career plan.
    • They will also help connect you with individuals in your career plan to do a job shadow, and can talk to you about your future campus.
  5. 15 Credit Hours per Semester:
    • Your magic number is 120 total credit hours.  Typically you will need to complete 15 credit hours per semester to stay on path to graduate in 4 years – 120 total credits (4 years x 30 credits per year).  Some degrees and colleges require more credits for graduation, confirm the details with your advisor and tell them you are on a graduate in four plan.  Normally 60 credit hours will be for your specific career and the other 60 will be core courses for graduation – choose these courses wisely for enhancing your education and working with your GPA.
    • If you can’t complete 15 hours in a semester, think about taking summer classes online or on campus.  Advice: if you know one semester you are taking a very challenging course, take 12 credit hours, and then take a 3 credit hour course over the summer to get back to 30 completed for the year.  Even take that one difficult course in the summer so you will only have one class to focus your efforts for studying.
    • Some degree programs, such as engineering, require students to be enrolled in degree required courses early their freshmen and sophomore year, which makes #2 on this list important to find out first.
  6. Focus on GPA early and often:
    • Any college student will tell you high school courses are very different than a college class and exam.  This can impact your GPA your first semester of college, which might force you to fight to get your GPA back up.  Many degree programs require a certain GPA to be accepted in that major/school.  For example: to be an Accounting Major, you may need to have a 3.6 GPA compared to a Management Major may only be 3.0, this will influence your major and graduation time.  If you completely mess up a class final exam, think about retaking the course over the summer to replace that eye sore on your GPA.
  7. Meet with an Academic Advisor every semester:
    • The last thing you want in the final semester of Senior year is to realize you missed a required degree course to graduate.  If it is one class, don’t stress, many schools will let you walk in May, but you will have to complete a summer course to finish your degree and receive your diploma.  If you are short 6 or more hours, normally you will think about taking the fall semester and graduating after fall semester is completed.

      Graduate in 4 plan

Many times graduating in 4 years is not the best plan for students.  For example, if you need to work a full time job and are taking night classes, you might not be able to complete 15 credit hours per semester.  Speaking with your Advisor you can create the best plan to complete your degree for what is right for you and your personal situation.

Do you have any personal tips for students to graduate in 4 years?  Add a comment below on your tips to share with others.  If you liked the tips share this with your colleagues, students and friends.

Are you a Counselor or Advisor and want to help your students create their College and Career plan, sign up for our free resources:


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They’re Not Your Parents’ Internships

By Jim Norrena, Editor and Content Manager at California College of the Arts

What’s the best career move a student can make? Contrary to what you may think, it’s not necessarily choosing one’s major – or even the college itself. Today what matters most is whether a graduate has internship experience. In fact, employers typically seek only candidates who can demonstrate they already possess the experiential learning required for most creative jobs.

JacksonAccording to National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 83 percent of employers avoid hiring graduates who don’t have experiential learning listed on their résumé. Add to this the findings of a recent SNAPP (Strategic National Arms Alumni Project) report that revealed 59 percent of internships translate into jobs, and it becomes pretty clear internships are a solid win-win career direction, securing greater return on investment for both employer and intern alike.

In addition to academic credit or added income, or both, interns also get to “test drive” their careers, make valuable connections and grow their networks, witness how their degrees can put them in practice, and develop the skills that relate best to their career goals.

Interning is key to preparing yourself for real-world challenges in any given field that requires real-world solutions. Students and colleges now more than ever recognize the value of interning: According to Forbes magazine, 80 percent of graduating college students at the top U.S. universities have had at least one internship.

Here’s what a sampling of undergraduate and graduate California College of the Arts design students and alumni say about their internship experiences working for some of today’s most innovative design and technology leaders:

sam_bertain moto-web“I had no idea what to expect,” admits Google Glass team industrial design intern Leslie Greene, who worked closely on a cross-discipline team of graphic designers, architects, marketing specialists, mechanical and electrical engineers, and manufacturers. “Working alongside these individuals has given me the chance to gain knowledge of other aspects of product development that are in reality so dependent upon each other. I have been able to bring the skills I’ve learned in school and utilizing them in the context of a real product, an invaluable experience.”

Design intern Juan Ignacio Correa boasts: “Intel is one of the largest and most influential technology companies in the world — with over 105,000 employees. It offers the opportunity to work on projects that will impact the lives of millions of people around the planet. … The internship provided me with a small, agile team, independent form big, corporate decisions and one that was capable of moving at the pace required for a fluent design process.”

“What’s unique about Motorola,” explains design intern Samuel Bertain, “is its emphasis on design and its philosophy on humanizing consumer electronics not to be only technologically cutting edge, but personal, approachable, and beautiful. … One of the most important things I’ve learned is how to work in the real world of design — how immense an undertaking it is to develop and make a product come to life and the speed at which the other designers work.”

“I didn’t know that it would lead to one of the most successful and exciting summers of my life,” says Graphic Design senior Ben Wasserman, referring to his brand design internship at Flipboard, a Palo Alto-based startup. “I had access to private events hosted by portfolio companies that brought together engineering and design luminaries from such Silicon Valley leaders as Amazon, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Google, Nest, and Twitter!”

Graphic designer Rayniel Estrella is currently interning at Bay Area frog design, a company that has expanded from industrial design to software and into the full set of experiences people have with a brand. They have global teams who solve systemic problems, identify hidden opportunities, and bring new products to market. “At frog there’s also a higher-level dedication to making with intention, which breeds excellent teamwork. … I find myself using the skills I honed at CCA: problem solving, critical thinking, research, and interdisciplinary collaboration.”

Graduate design student Carolyn Packer says of her internship as a visual designer at Townsquared (a private online network structured around neighborhoods, allowing small businesses to connect, communicate, and collaborate with each other): “One of the most rewarding things about my position is getting to have touch points with person on every team in the company. Not only am I practicing and growing as a visual designer, but also I’m learning all of the ins and outs of how to grow a start-up.”

Vivek Shah describes her design internship at Ziba Design, a design and innovation consultancy headquartered in Portland, Oregon, with satellite offices in San Diego, Munich, and Tokyo, as “unique because of the wide range of work they do ranging from products to services to spaces. And because of the variety of projects they take on, they attract diverse talent. … My experience has been very rewarding so far.”

Last fall, fashion design alumnus Sam Howell was the lead intern with the Diane Von Fürstenberg (DVF) fashion team at the DVF exhibit, Journey of a Dress, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. “It was an eye-opening experience,” says Howell. “I worked with an internationally renowned designer and her staff — learning from them every step of the way, which allowed me to open myself up to new aspects of the industry. I learned about merchandizing, marketing, and brand. I gained a deeper understanding of the industry I was about to join and the confidence to tackle all the challenges of the years ahead.”

suwanna R“The time I spent at Turner Duckworth, an award-winning visual identity and packaging design agency, as a junior designer has been brief, but full of valuable lessons,” recalls designer Suwanna Ruayrinsaowarot, who worked within a team of creatives that allowed her to achieve various hands-on experiences from creating professional mockups to packaging designs. “The experience has been enriching and insightful in many different aspect of life. … They have all been a great source of inspiration for me. I am motivated to discover what I want to do in this field in the future.”

Senior graphic design student Jack Koloskus completed a design internship at Moving Brands, an independent, global creative company that partners with established and emerging businesses to design and transform their brands and experiences to thrive in the moving world. “One of the things that drew me to Moving Brands is their willingness to explore experimental and new-media solutions and approaches to problems and clients that many other places wouldn’t consider. … It was a wonderful experience.”

So whether you’re looking at colleges or are currently enrolled, know which companies and organizations are nearby. Find the ones that interest you most. Then investigate which career service resources you have access to. Now you’re ready to jumpstart your career.

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Bill Eaton, Wentworth Institute of Technology

Bill Eaton, BCMT ’90: Sweet Success

An expert with more than 20 years of beverage and consumer goods packaging development experience, Bill Eaton, director of R&D packaging engineering and

Bill Eaton

Bill Eaton

innovation in the Global Beverages Group at PepsiCo, got into the packaging field more or less by chance.

After graduating from Wentworth, the construction management major entered a bleak job market in the early 1990s. He nearly accepted a project management position in Kuwait before starting his own business remodeling kitchens and bathrooms in his native Connecticut. A client happened to be a human resources officer at Cadbury Schweppes.

“She mentioned a job in their packaging lab,” Eaton says. “She said, ‘it’s kind of technical—you might be interested.” At his interview, Eaton was introduced to workers who were measuring and testing bottles and thinking, “This is probably not for me.” But when he was offered a position with the company, he took it.

“One of the first projects I worked on was called Mott’s in a Minute,” Eaton recalls. “It was a shelf-stable juice concentrate in a can—the first of its kind. We spent a lot of time in our pilot plant running these cans and testing them. That technical detail was really interesting to me.”

Eaton moved to Pepsico in 2007. His first project was one that had challenged colleagues for years—designing a one-gallon PET bottle for Lipton tea with an integrated snap-on handle.

“I used a lot of the knowledge I retained from school to design the structural elements that were hidden inside the handle,” Eaton says. “I recalled bridge theory to design the handle so it wouldn’t bend, and worked with designers to integrate the handle design.” The end product—including the handle and cap—was lighter than the competition’s bottle alone. It was a hit.

Today, Eaton leads a group that works with marketing teams and design agencies to take bottles and other packaging innovations from concept to development. His latest project involved moving Pepsi—which had been in the same bottle for nearly 16 years—and other core brands into new bottle designs.

“It’s really about keeping the brand fresh and connected with the consumer,” Eaton says. The latest 20-ounce Mountain Dew bottle, he explains, “is kind of edgy. It fits with the consumer who drinks Mountain Dew—the gamer, the skateboarder. The package has design elements that specifically point out those attributes, and consumers really pick up on them.”

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