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Graphic Design Alum Shines at Code & Theory

As a Visual Designer for the interactive design firm Code & Theory, School of Graphic Design BFA graduate Gina Rodriguez helps to create focused media and unique interactive user experiences for her clients. Getting ahead in this extremely competitive industry wasn’t easy, but Gina shares how she landed her dream job.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Gina was constantly surrounded by art and inspiration. Her first love was photography. “I shot and developed my own film and worked on everything I could; school newspaper, newsletters and friends projects.  I was passionate about photography and took photos every day.” School was always a challenge for her due to difficulties learning in the traditional classroom environment.

“I think I must have a learning disability because I find I am a very visual learner.  I understand concepts communicated with pictures much more easily than reading or listening to a description,” Gina said.

Gina had always heard of Academy of Art University which is such a big a part of the cultural fabric of San Francisco and decided to take a campus tour. “I knew about Academy of Art University all my life but the tour made me realize the high level of professionalism that was demanded of students who attended the Academy. It was a little intimidating.”

She soon realized that instructors like Thomas McNulty, Mary Scott, Michael Osborne and Roland Young were teaching her the skills she needed to be successful as an artist and in her career. “I think about my Academy of Art training and the lessons given by these instructors almost every day. Their impact on my life has been huge.”

Gina was the first one in her family to attend college.  A career in art is usually not the first choice parents think about when evaluating their child’s education, but Gina has some advice for parents and students alike. “My education prepared me so thoroughly that I am being asked to perform and make contributions at a much higher level than my peers from other colleges.  I have more responsibilities because I do not need to be trained to do things at work [that] I was already taught as part of my degree in Graphic Design. At Academy of Art they focus on real world training that allows students to go from classroom to job easily.”

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