Meet Jessi, our newest valedictorian! Jessi already had a bachelor’s degree by the time she realized she wanted to pursue graphic design as a career. Now, after 11 months of intense study, she’s living proof that it’s never too late to turn your passion into a career!

Living a Creative Life

Jessi always considered herself creative. Whether it was singing or making music, or building things or making arts and crafts. She viewed illustration as one area that she lacked talent – but, as she would later find out, you don’t need to be great at drawing to be a great designer!

 

Jessi got a degree in hospitality, but while she was at school, she was struck with creative instinct and started to draw all over the walls of her apartment. She was so inspired by this event that the idea of pursuing art as a career started to become a reality.

 

One day, while driving around, she heard a radio ad for F.I.R.S.T. Institute. Instantly she wondered, “Can I do that? … I can do that!” Within months, she was enrolled and learning how to turn her creativity into a career.

What Makes F.I.R.S.T. A Unique Education

What drew Jessi to F.I.R.S.T. was the lack of general education courses. “I had already taken the math classes, and history classes, and economic classes… they all made me want to go to sleep,” she jokes. At F.I.R.S.T., she was only learning what she wanted to learn: Adobe programs, how to code, and how to get the images on her head finalized onto a screen. The fact that her classmates were all fellow creatives was a nice bonus.

 

A Favorite Project

One of Jessi’s projects that sticks out to her is a book cover she made for the children’s story “Wishtree.” It’s a cover that Jessi says she never thought she could make… but through multiple iterations and seeking feedback from her instructors and classmates, she found that the final product grew better and better. And it looks “pretty legit!”

 

Jessi thanks her instructors Shelly and Brandon for all that they did for her during her time at the school. Not only were they knowledgeable, but they truly cared about their students and their success after graduation.

 

“I love nerding out with my teachers about design, because there’s so few people out there who care about those things,” Jessi says. “The people who care are teaching it here at F.I.R.S.T.”