PSU grad, Nora Travis shares some of her work with us! More examples at the end of the interview!
What is your position/title, group and place of work? How long have you
been working there?
I work for Avenue A Razorfish (aa-rf) as a designer.
How did you find your current design position?
Lis Charman notified me of a internship opportunity at aa-rf. I sent them
links to my portfolio, did a couple phone interviews and then came in to
meet in person. They hired me and another intern and at the end of the
internship kept me on.
What projects are you working on currently?
Part of the internship was that they wanted me to work on as many different
projects as possible. The main clients for aa-rf are Levis, Microsoft, Coors
and Best Buy. I have been working on different aspects from many of those
campaigns. Mostly for Levis and Microsoft. In my free time, I am working on
a website for a company called Retake Productions, they take old silent
films and write new scores for the movies performing them live in town at
different movie theaters, most recently they are working on Nannok of the
North, it's really cool to see them live.
What do you like best about your position or projects?
One of the best things is just to be able to work on things that people
actual see. So much of design in school is focused on you and your peers and
it's great to produce work that actual gets out there. Learning how to
integrate yourself into a team, and find your place and voice within it is
so vital and sometimes difficult, but oh so much fun. I guess the best
thing is just to be doing something that you love, I love design, and
getting to go into work, and getting to produce good design is a gift.
In what ways (faculty, program, projects, classes, etc) was PSU-GD
successful preparing you for being a professional designer?
The instructors. They know what they are talking about, and if you get them
to believe in you and your design, they will open doors for you. One of the
best things a student can do is to just be committed show your peers and
your teachers that you care, and your work will shine. Your teachers will
invest time in to you for it. The instructors at PSU care and want you to
succeed and then best thing I did was show them that I wanted that too.
What suggestions to have for PSU-GD to improve upon or
information/content that you should have had in school but did not get?
I wish at PSU that we could work with copywriters, because working with
someone who knows how to create funny, and witty taglines make your design
that much better, and it would be nice to be able to learn how to
collaborate with people out of the GD box.
What recommendations do you have for any current students and/or students
Don't let rejection get you down. That's the hardest thing ever but if this
is really what you want to do, then don't let silly things get in the way of
it, and just make yourself irresistibly likable, so people want to help you
and want to see you succeed, it will make your life so much easier if you
have a support system of people who will cheer you on when you do good, and
help you up when things are hard. And don't be afraid to do shitty design
for money, as long as you are fully aware that it's not where you want to
end up, every crap job can be a learning experience.
Any other thoughts about being a designer that you would like to share
(things you wish you had known or just any thing of interest to you?
In a working environment, design is only half of it; you also have to be a
decent human being. Show up for work on time, communicate with the people
around you, and listen when others are speaking. You can be an amazing
designer, but to stay and succeed at work, you also need to be a good
person, so don't forget that side of yourself. And if you are ever in a job,
and the people around you don't value that, or don't give that to you, Get
Would you share a link to a site or a book or a website that you frequent for
Here is a link to my delicious links, which has a bunch of my favorite
Here is a great inspiration video: