Q&A with Denishia Macon ’12

Denishia Macon, 2012 visual communications graduate

2012 visual communications graduate Denishia Macon credits UofSC for leading her to her graphic design position at WarnerMedia.

If you could give any piece of advice to any student at UofSC what would it be? 

My advice to students at UofSC would be to enjoy your time as much as possible while you’re in college. Really take time to explore and learn your interests. Once you’re out in the real world, it’s much harder to really explore without being concerned about everyday survival. So take that semester to study abroad, be active in that organization and network as much as possible. The connections you make in college can very well be an amazing advantage once you’ve graduated. If you desire to start a business, network with business owners and find a mentor as you’re learning and growing. Never limit yourself to what you can achieve.

If you could give a piece of advice to a student studying visual communications, what would it be?

Build a well-done portfolio. Freelance and seek outside projects while you’re in school. It’ll help once you’ve graduated and have started to seek opportunities. A portfolio will help to show the range of skills that you’ve learned during your time in school and be a major boost to your resume.

Tips to maintain a healthy work, social and mental health balance? 

I will say that you should always make time for your own self-care. Set aside an hour a day to reflect, journal, socialize or participate in a hobby. It’s okay to want to advance in your career, but it should never be at the expense of your own mental health. Make sure you’re always maintaining time to unwind and destress. Make weekly goals that aren’t just for work, but also for your meditation and self-care.

What is a healthy way to prevent burnout in your field?

Maintain limitations on how much you work weekly. You shouldn’t prioritize work over your own mental health. Without a healthy balance, you can’t fully perform optimally. Always set aside time where you won’t be disturbed and relax instead.

How did your academic experience help you in finding your first job?

My classes in college helped to get me ready for the world with a variety of creative projects using the Adobe Creative Suite programs. Becoming efficient at these programs will matter once you’re in the workforce as a graphic designer, as you’re coming in more prepared to use them daily. I have learned the importance of time management, conceptual development of ideas, as well as multi-tasking. It also prepared me to embrace my individuality and my confidence in who I am as a person. You have to be confident in yourself in the workplace because you have the motivation to challenge yourself to go above and beyond. 

What would you do differently if you were still a student at South Carolina?

I would seek out more freelance projects in the community to build my portfolio even more. I would also develop a website that displayed my work that would be ready to launch upon graduation for business opportunities for clients as well as employment opportunities. I would also begin a professional social media account to display work as an extension to my portfolio website. Preparation, focus & networking is the name of the game. It’s better to be ready, so once an opportunity arises, you’ll have the assets you need to promote yourself and succeed.

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