Interview with Graphic Designer Shahrzad

Hey guys, I had the pleasure of sending over some questions to my friend at school for a class assignment on career goals.
On my journey to find someone in the media industry, I reached out to several people. With no luck, I happened to have a friend/classmate that has been into Graphic Design for quite some years now and does some freelancing work. Interested in design, for business and personal reasons I decided to ask her a few questions.

How did you get to where you are? 
Shahrzad: Late into my undergraduate career I noticed that I was not enjoying biology and the life that I was living as a Pre-med. This made me realize that my true passion in life is art and design, so I decided to pursue graphic design further since I already had a background in it and really loved it. From there, I did research and set goals for myself to make sure I was on the right path. 

What about this type of work interested you and how did you get started? 
S: There’s always something new for me to work on, every project is different in it’s own way and as a person who loves change, that is the number one thing I have been looking for in a career for a long time, and I finally found it. 

What sorts of changes and challenges are occurring in your occupation?
S: The biggest challenge in my occupation is dealing with different types of clients. Since graphic design is considered an occupation within the service industry, I must always make sure I have happy clients without devaluing myself or my work. I am learning slowly about how I can do this, and every project is a learning experience. 
Describe a typical workday. 
S: I mainly work as a freelancer, so my work days are never the same. I am free to work at my own pace at any time I want, which I absolutely love. But one thing that is consistent is how I work. I like to play my favorite album, and begin working. The beauty of doing what you love is that you can have a project that will take a couple days to complete, but you won’t mind at all because you enjoy your work. 

What kinds of experiences (paid or unpaid) do you think would be beneficial for someone attempting to enter this field. 
S: To start off, unpaid internships are absolutely awful. Never take a position that doesn’t pay. It devalues the industry as well as your work as a designer. But the best practices include making up your own projects to complete a badass portfolio. 

Where  do you want to be in 5/10 years or what are some of your aspirations and who inspired you?
S: Ok so in 5/10 years, I want to be running my own design agency and hopefully inspiring other designers and students. Another goal of mine is to give a Ted Talk by age 30:) My biggest inspiration has been seeing my brother get to where he is through hard work. He made something of himself at a time my family was going through a hard time, and that is the most inspirational thing to me.

Nicole Eggleston