Graphic Design alumna earns national attention

A few years ago, Julia McNamara found herself out of a job. Despite having a bachelor’s degree under her belt – in fine arts from the University of Washington – her job prospects did not look encouraging. That’s when she decided to pursue a graphic design degree at Seattle Central, so she could add marketable skills to her resume that would grab the attention of prospective employers.

“I had never done any graphic design, but I like the process, and recognized I needed training to enter this field. Seattle Central seemed like a perfect fit for me. They had programs that were geared toward getting people into the workforce. I wanted to go out and get a job as soon as I could,” she said. The affordable tuition was also a draw.

Julia credits the rigorous nature of the program for her current success. “It was super–demanding. I was shocked by the amount of work, but you were rewarded for your hard work. The focus was on real–life projects that were on point with getting us ready for the workforce. And the professors were great, giving us constant feedback.”

Julia loved the tremendous diversity of the program – her classes were composed of students from all ages and backgrounds. “People from 18 to 60, and everyone in between. Everyone brought something valuable,” she added.

When it came time to graduate, she was pleasantly surprised at the excellent reputation of the school when she interviewed for positions. “People definitely knew the program. It’s what got me my first job. I was one of 150 applicants. My degree was a real selling point,” Julia added.

Julia is now running her own graphic design business, with a variety of clients. Her work has earned accolades, and recently attracted the notice of The New York Times, which interviewed her for a story about the inspiration behind the design of a poster for a Portland, Ore., play.