Key Learning Outcomes

Miami University College of Creative Arts
Business of Design, Art353


What was the most important thing you learned in Business of Design class?


Spring 2019


I learned how to better represent myself. I went in not really knowing how to sell myself or what my differences were or how I stood out as a designer. Going through this class has helped me to discover who I am and what I want my brand to be. It has better prepared myself for interviews that I recently had and it has given me more confidence in who I am as a designer. I think that is very important and I was honestly feeling a little lost before that because I never knew how to talk about myself. Now I do and it has been so helpful, so thank you for pushing me and guiding me to figure that stuff out.


I would have to say I learned a lot of important things in this class this semester! Some of them I had already been introduced to, however, revisiting them was very beneficial this semester since I am graduating. The majority of topics we covered significantly related to things I was dealing with outside of class in terms of portfolio’s, resumes, and how to sell myself to potential employers. I think this class really helped me to analyze my strengths and weaknesses further and to be more confident in the skills, experiences, and knowledge that I can bring to the table as a young designer.


The most important thing I learned this class is that I need to take initiative in order to end up where I would like to see myself, especially from the $20 exercise. I realized that I can talk the talk and have these dreams, but I need to work, network, and prepare myself in order to be in the best position to reach that goal. From this lesson I realized if I want to work at a branding agency I need to get myself out there to some agencies that don’t offer internship opportunities, so I emailed about 20. Many responded that they checked out my work, but that they couldn’t offer an internship this summer, and a majority mentioned they were impressed with my dedication and effort to email and reach out to them. After interviews with a few of them, I was able to land an internship with an agency that does branding work for many classic brands I value and love. Without learning I really need to take initiative in ways I wouldn’t have imagined I would have been interning at a company I wasn’t completely set on or in love with, simply because they had a posting on indeed and I happened to apply.


I feel like the most important things I learned in this course were all about improving my professional life. I don’t have very much experience in the professional field—therefore I am not very knowledgeable on out to act, speak with, or communicate with the professional world. I feel that I learned the correct ways to come into contact with people through email. I also feel that through our mock interview process, I learned a lot about what questions would be asked in interviews and what appropriate answers would be. This will better prepare me for beginning my future. During our panel event, I learned that it is good to show your progression on a piece of work, and that companies are not only looking to see that you have the on paper design skills, but also that you are able to think creatively and you have the mindset and attitude that is right for that company.


I learned more about my brand that I didn’t know before entering this class. I am continuing to establish it and it was helpful to define myself through strengths, weaknesses and the overall SWOT analyses. Defining a brand pyramid and a mission for what I need to do for my brand in the future was also very helpful.


I learned that I can not only create a visual brand for myself, but that I should employ the same strategies to promote myself as any brand should. Being able to dive deep into what my messaging and values are, really helped me to better strategize when looking for an internship and a job in the future.


How to answer open ended questions about myself.


I learned so much about the interviewing process that I was able to apply in a couple of actual interviews this semester, and I think that really helped me. I learned how to talk about salary and about negotiating, how to respectfully discuss and decline a job offer (if necessary), and overall how to be more comfortable during an interview (I hated the mock interview at first, but that may have been the most important experience for me this semester because of the evaluation afterwards). These are all skills that are helpful now and will be helpful for the rest of my life, and I think it’s so important that I learned it at a relatively young age so that I could start applying what I’ve learned to real world interactions.


Definitely how to navigate the whole money aspect of design – learning about how to talk salary with employers will undoubtedly be helpful in my future and seeing the AIGA figures of what designers are making right now helped put me at ease a little bit.

But deeper than that: Just to lean into who I am as a designer and to try and strengthen my own personal interests and current strengths instead of trying to box myself in to any other identity.


My biggest take-away from this class was learning about myself.  With the personal brand presentation, it forced me to think about myself on a deeper level and what I want my name to stand for.  I learned that I can be a successful designer, but it doesn’t happen overnight, I will have to have faith in myself and my skills and never stop striving to do my best.  People care about the value of things and I learned that I need to value myself and my design before anyone else will.


During this class I was forced to think critically about where I belong in creative careers. Because of this I was able to determine what things about my skills that I really enjoy and wish to focus on, and what I specifically do not wish to do. I also felt encouraged to focus time specifically on professional development. Because of this I updated my branding to something much more perfect for me, went to a conference where I made many good connections, and began selling my work at craft fairs. I was also more prepared for interacting with professionals while working at my internship this summer. Really, I am more aware of myself and more capable of making myself heard.


As much as I hate to say it, that one has to find their thing and become an expert. It nags in the back of my head far more often than I’d like to admit. Although I may forget some quotes, I anticipate remembering that for the rest of my days.


The most important thing that I learned in this class was about networking and just how important it is to make connections, in the real world in order to find career opportunities and find the place where I will fit the best.


I think the most important thing that I learned in this class was how to be more professional. Whether that was networking skills, interview skills, pricing skills, and developing my personal brand and style, this class helped me to develop a better sense of professionalism. It also gave me more confidence of knowing what I am doing and feeling confident in myself and my work.


The most important thing I learned in this class was how to market myself and the importance of networking. I have always been a more humble person, so it doesn’t come naturally to brag or push my designs out to companies. However, throughout the course of this class I learned how truly important it is to self-promote. The industry is so competitive, and employers like to see you are confident in your work. I am currently working on developing a piece of self-promotion that I can send to companies to make me more memorable. I had not thought about this prior to this class, but I see how it can be effective! Also, they value of a handwritten thank you can go a long way. I have already begun implementing this. The company I sent it to was very surprised and flattered by this gesture. In this day in age it simple gestures like that get lost especially with the rise of technology. In addition, the design panel was super helpful and allowed me to begin networking with some amazing people and brands. I realized that in the design world it is so helpful if you know someone. People are willing to help you and it is so important to make connections and not burn bridges. Thank you for a very informative class.  I honestly feel much more prepared for the future. Have a great summer!


That I am not falling behind and drowning in life. Before this course, I really felt like I was kind of on my own in terms of the professional future and understanding what I’m getting into. I’m not saying I needed to have my hand held, but being able to listen to discussion and perspectives, access materials and resources, and in general, just feel more confident in my knowledge base was a huge step I think I needed to take.

I am riddled with anxiety surrounding these topics and always knew that communication/graphic design is a broad field with many options to take. Yeah, I can google and search and talk all I want, but a cohesive collection of information and considerations at my hand was extremely helpful in my internship search and future planning.


I learned that networking is very important to my brand. It enhanced how I communicate and present myself. It made me realize how all over the place I was in my online and resume presence. I used it to rebrand my online portfolio and fix my resume. The mock interview helped me better establish my brand in an interview setting as well.


Learning how to brand and price your own work as a designer and creative was really important to me. I hadn’t really thought about how to set a price for my freelance work until this class.

Also, that when getting a job offer, it’s important to have everything in writing, and not to talk about salary until the job has actually been offered.


This class has pushed me to embrace the things that I really love such as printmaking and use them as my strength to brand myself as different and being able to offer something that other designers can’t produce. I’ve also learned that there is a niche for everyone and mine is out there, but I just need to wait for people to find me. I’ve always tried to create things that other people like, but I am starting to create work for me and not apologize for it. I’m very excited about our design event and getting to see everyone showcase their art and make connections with students who find joy in their work!


The most important thing I learned in this class is being strategic about your identity. Doing our personal brand strategy made me realize that my brand really doesn’t make a statement about me and I don’t do as much to communicate and draw traffic to my work as I thought I did. Seeing other people’s presentations and seeing that the methods they use to communicate their brand are appropriate to their life story and personality. I also feel I’ve learned that what you say in your brand is crucial to positioning how you want to be received by the industry you want to go into. It’s made me have a clear understanding that if I want to work in fashion, my work needs to look as close to that type of aesthetic as much as possible in my portfolio and my brand identity needs to have an equal emphasis in playing into that.


I really learned while doing our SWOT analysis how to view my weaknesses differently. I really came into this year thinking I was at fault for never pursuing an internship, but you taught me to word this differently and tell people that I am passionate about my employment and being a loyal employee. Therefore, I didn’t seek an internship because I loved what I was doing and was able to grow as a designer with opportunities that presented to me.

Also building my brand pyramid really made me reflect on who I was and what makes me unique as a designer.


That the purpose of business is to create and keep a customer. Students at university rarely design for anybody but themselves and their portfolio. We feed in our own styles and biases into every project. And it was a good reminder that design isn’t about us, but it is about the consumer.


The most important thing I learned in this class was how to organize a SWOT analysis and in doing so I could see where I needed to improve and where I was already strong. I usually never consider my personal brand or how my brand is a representation of my capabilities, but the SWOT analysis made me take all of my skills and opportunities into consideration. I think I will use a SWOT analysis in the future whenever I feel my skills getting stagnant or whenever I want to reorient my personal brand in a new direction.


I think the most important thing I learned in this class was how to brand myself and promote myself to potential employers. Before this class, I had no idea want I wanted to do after graduation, and I still don’t, but I at least have a better idea of how my brain works and how I want others to see my work. I know how to talk to employers and other people in my network about my work and how I like to design. I can talk about my strengths and weaknesses in a positive and confident way. I am also more aware of opportunities and threats and I can take those into consideration when promoting myself.


The most important thing I learned from this class was that a brand is a promise. Before this class, I was thinking more about brand-marks and strategies rather than the actual promise of the brand. But after this class, I will be able to go forward feeling a little more confident in my promise to employers, clients, consumers and with the tools to be able to communicate my value and integrity to others.


I learned to phase answers to interview questions to that it always relates back to how I am a good designer. I thought the interview activity that put us on the spot in front of the whole class was very eye opening. I went home that night and tried to think of answers to all of those questions for myself in preparation for my summer internship interviews I had this spring.


I think the most important thing I learned in this class was a method of how to promote myself in the future. This is something I have always struggled with, but looking at ourselves and our own unique abilities through marketing techniques was a different way to think about how I should be communicating who I am. I definitely think this is something I will carry with me throughout my career. This also made me think a lot about where I see myself in this industry – and how this differed quite a bit from some of my previous work. I think I have created some of my best projects yet this semester because I have a firm grip on what kind of work I want to be producing, and what that says about the kind of person I am. I realized that a lot of what I would write about myself was not being represented in my current portfolio and started to create more work that was a better representation of where I want to end up.


Spring 2020


The most important thing that I learned in this class was better understanding my brand and how I stand about from others in the field. Doing a SWOT analysis to really see what sets me about, but also to analyze my weaknesses was very valuable to me. I learned a lot about myself and what areas I can grow as a designer and even as an individual in the professional field. Also, I enjoyed the way you taught the class, what stands out to me was the way you interacted with the class with the $20 exercise and also asking questions throughout the class to really getting us talking.


The most important thing I learned in this class is to take every opportunity, make as many connections as possible, weigh my options, define my brand, and be able to know myself in a confident way so that I can ace interviews for future jobs.


The most important thing that I learned in this class was to take the initiative. Honestly, the $20 example really stuck with me. Growing up, I was known as the “shy girl.” However, as I have gotten older, I have realized that I do not need to be quiet and reserved all of the time. Instead, I can voice my opinion and take action. I have found that this is the only way to truly make a mark and be proud of my work and what I can do to help others.


It’s not the only thing, but the most important thing that I learned in this class is to be ready all the time. You never know when you may be meeting a potential connection that you’ll need down the line or when your professor may ask you to stand up and pitch yourself to the entire class. When I saw that my name was on that slide, I completely froze and felt too embarrassed to pitch myself in front of everyone. All I know is that I never want to be that underprepared ever again. I learned that I need to gain the confidence to sell myself better and take more pride in what I can offer.


The most important thing I learned in this class is how to present myself as a designer. In other classes we learned how to talk about our work, but this class helped me learn how to talk about myself. When entering the job market, I need to market myself as the best investment for a company and I have gained the tools to effectively sell my brand.


The most important thing I learned in this class was the breakdown of creative agencies. I had a very loose understanding of the organization of the Publicis Groupe, but the large chart shown in class that broke down all of the different parent companies and their different design, media, ad, etc. agencies was incredibly helpful. It was so useful to visualize all the different areas and job opportunities within each company. I know I personally struggled for a while to understand what it even meant to be a “media associate” or “strategist” and what kind of companies offered those positions. This is the first thing that came to mind because of how impactful is was for me in my job search. I also want to say that even though the panel didn’t happen, I felt like I was encouraged to connect with new and different creatives and that my network and understanding of different careers increased immensely. I know those connections and that knowledge will be beneficial in the future and being comfortable reaching out to new people to ask questions was a very important skill I learned in this class.


I learned that there’s a lot to know about the business behind design. I learned and became better aquatinted with design terminology. I also liked learning about the different pay options for designers/design firms. It was a good class, I just wish Corona didn’t take away the physical class time—I learn better that way.


The most important thing I learned from this class is how to market myself as a unique individual that is able to bring my own value. I think in school there is a lot of groupthink and collaboration that sort of hides the individual styles, personalities, skills etc. and this class pushed me to think hard about what a employer would want to see in me and how I can push myself to follow that path and better brand myself. I also learned the importance of networking, that goes hand-in-hand with growing your personal brand, and different ways that networking is possible. Before this class, I thought of networking as just going to a career fair and talking to people, which is great but there are so many other ways to network as well. I learned about the importance of really using Linkedin, staying in touch with previous connections and reaching out to people you may have never met in person but are really inspired by.


I think that the most important thing that I have learned in this class is all of the real-world applications that we were taught. From learning how to better market myself, ways to network, and different job paths within the field of design I do feel like I have learned valuable things within this course.


I learned so much in this class. I would have to say I learned the most with the Pricing Models article we went over. It was my favorite journal because I have had the most difficulty trying to market myself and my work, and those gave me some great ideas. But the most important lesson I learned in this class is how to be valued as a designer. What we do is important, and making sure we are recognized, compensated, and respected for our work is something we have to strive for more than other jobs. But we are the connection between consumer and product or service. How something is marketed, by design, by packaging, my online presence: it’s all vital to creating a customer, and even more vital to creating a loyal and returning consumer.


I think the most important thing I learned in this class is the importance of building strong professional relationships. As you have said in class, the people who have found success in the industry and were once in our seats want to help us. It is our job to reach out and connect with them in an appropriate manner. By having conversations with a variety of professionals in the industry I have learned so much and now have a network to turn to in the future.


The most important thing that I learned in this class is to start networking. I have always been very afraid of putting myself out there and taking the initiative to reach out to possible network connections, but this class made me realize how important it is. Especially in the design world, hearing you speak about how connections have helped you in your career and about how staying in touch with people, making good first impressions, and never burning bridges is so important given that it is such a small field. This class made me realize that I need to start networking and ensuring that I am keeping in touch with all of my peers and connections in the design work because you never know how it could help you out in the future. I learned a lot from this class but the lesson that will stick with me the most is about networking and taking the initiative to reach out to people and stay in touch with people as well.


The most important thing I learned in this class was probably how much more I actually need to prepare for when looking for an internship and a job. Thinking quick on your feet is something I’m not the best at and need to work on figuring out a way that can put me in a position that I am prepared for.


I learned a lot and i am thankful for this class. I learned what are employers are looking for, what I true love doing in design, what my worth is, creating connections, understanding the business side of design, learning more than my other design classes, I like this because it is going to be useful for when I apply, I know what qualities i should be having to be more wanted in the field. This has helped me know more about all sides of design, and truly knowing what I want to do!


I think in this class I started thinking about myself as a businessperson and as an employee for the first time. Of course, I’ve had jobs, but I’ve never really stepped into what would be my career before now. All I’ve ever known is being a student, and this course started to gather my thoughts and help me assess the type of interviewee and employee I plan on being. Thinking about my strengths and what I can bring to a company versus what I need to start working on to be more successful has been so helpful in boosting my confidence and self-awareness. This has been a really great transition into where I will be headed after my life at Miami and has helped me understand the mindset I should have moving forward.


I think I learned that the importance of finding balance between being a jack of all trades or a specialist. Spreading yourself too thin as a JOAT can leave you end up mastering no skills, while being a specialist can make you unable to withstand change. The graphic of the “T” was very insightful and helped me realize the scope of the knowledge in the full process of creating, marketing, and selling a product. It also showed that it is practically impossible to do everything by yourself and that you need to be able to rely on others to do work they are are better suited for and trust that it comes out right.


The most important thing I learned in this class is how to go about my next steps in the professional world. I feel a bit less anxious as I approach the end of my college year after having talked about interviews, what I want to look for in a job, how to go about applying and making connections, how I want to present myself, my skills and things I need to work on, what it means to be creative and so much more. I firmly believe this class is meant to help guide us into the direction of our choosing and I am glad it was a part of our required curricular.


The most important thing I learned in this class would be how important relationships, networking, and your personal brand strategy are. I learned that it is also important that they work together, and as a whole, if you have a strong personal brand, it will go a long way with learning how to network and make relationships. To be more specific, I never really cared about my LinkedIn profile, or updated it frequently, but as of recently, I have made my way back to keeping it updated, as well as using it to my full potential, as I will be applying for jobs and internships through this resource.


I think the most important thing I’ve learned is that connections can truly make or break you as designer. In the real world, most people are on their own—with regards to bettering their career path. Those who have help will thrive in the industry. It’s hard to put your trust into someone, but if someone you trust refers them to you, it’s much easier to get on board with the idea of offer them a position. The industry is a scary place, but you don’t have to be alone.