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Alumni Angle: Recent Grad Enjoys New Career

Recent Grad Enjoys New Career

Jacob Anderson, who graduated in May 2022, is pursuing his dream job as a designer near Birmingham. “I started my job three days post-graduation, and I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “I absolutely love my job. I am doing exactly what I have wanted to do for years, and I work with some incredible people who are helping me to learn and grow in the industry.”

Anderson, who majored in art with a concentration in graphic design, is a graphic designer and screenprinter at Cahaba Design Company in Trussville. In that position, he works with a wide range of clients from small business owners to large corporations by helping companies and organizations establish and professionally utilize a cohesive brand throughout their marketing and advertisements.

“I work step by step with each client throughout the entire process from establishing a name and logo all the way to designing and producing both digital and printable media,” stated Anderson.

Anderson credits his time at JSU with “everything I needed to know in order to get started in the field of graphic design. As any designer knows, you never stop learning, but JSU helped get me to where I am today so that I can continue to grow and learn as I go and gain new experiences in the field.”

Anderson identified experiential learning as key to his education at JSU, with the Graphic Design Workshop course as his favorite class. That class was “the first time in the program that we got to work with real clients, and that experience only furthered my desire to get out in the field and start my career,” said Anderson. “I really enjoyed all of the faculty and staff in the Department of Art and Design, and I can’t thank my Graphic Design professors (Chad Anderson, Christian Dunn, Seth Johnson, and Jamie Runnells) enough for sharing their experience and knowledge while also challenging me to grow and develop in the industry.”

Although academics was important to Anderson, he was also involved in other activities, and his favorite memories of JSU are about his experiences as a Marching Southerner, for which he was a member of the drumline, as well as the Southerners’ multimedia design team. About the Southerners, Anderson said, “This group of faculty, staff, and students comes together and creates not only a halftime show for a season, but memories that last a lifetime. As we all know and say, ‘Once a Southerner, Always a Southerner.’”

When asked about advice for current students, Anderson recommended that students take time to do an internship while they are in college, whether it is during the summer or a regular semester.

“I cannot stress the importance of getting your name out there and learning from people who do this job every day. I have my job today at Cahaba Design because I interned with them the summer before I graduated, and I created relationships with the people with whom I now work.”

Anderson’s future plans include an upcoming wedding and a return to campus: “I am very excited to say that I am marrying the absolute best person ever this coming January. Grace Whitaker is also a graduate of JSU, and we both are very thankful for our time at JSU together and look forward to returning to campus this fall to watch The Marching Southerners and some Gamecock Football.”

Images above are of Anderson’s most recent work, which includes the branding for a vintage sneaker shop in downtown Trussville, Alabama, called Main Street Soles.

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Alumni Angle

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