As an alum myself, I am excited to announce that we will be taking an inside look into the lives of numerous alumni from The College of Saint Rose. This week I bring you a semi-recent graduate, a dear friend and one of my very own college roommates…Everyone…(drum roll)…Ms. Kelly McGuire!!!
When did you graduate from Saint Rose?
May 13, 2010. It was a nasty, cold morning for May but I have never seen so many of my classmates up and raring to go at 8am. It was very exciting.
Where are you from?
I grew up in New Windsor, NY. Loads of student from Saint Rose were actually from the Orange County, NY area. It’s a good distance away. Mom and Dad wouldn’t want to come up every weekend but were close enough that they could pop up for a meal at the Macaroni Grill (their excuse to come see me every few months).
Where do you currently reside?
I currently live in Astoria, Queens. I did a bit of moving since college, which I suppose, is typical so prepare yourself now and make some good, strong moving friends (you’ll need it). After college I went home to the rents for about 6 months. As much of a reality check that was, I was able to intern at WBMG (Milton Glaser, Walter Bernard) in the city and work for free. I owe my first full time position to having this on my resume so it was worth the daily 4 hour commute. I lived in Brooklyn for a year and then moved to Astoria this past November. Astoria has so far been great and I have reduced my current commute to 20 minutes! Wahoo, it makes such a difference!
Where are you currently employed?
I currently am a designer at Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine. I started freelancing for them back in March 2011 during the redesign. I came on fulltime in August and it has been such a great experience ever since. I work with amazing people and am really lucky to be apart of such a creative, fun team.
What is your title/responsibilities?
My current title is Junior Designer. I am one of four designers in the art department here. Even though I am at the bottom of the totem pole, I am the go-to to get things done and I like that. It feel’s good to know people need you around. I work closely with my Art Director and Creative Director, who have both been such great mentors since I started here. I design about 14 layouts per issue, and since it is a monthly magazine it keeps me busy! I also am responsible for all the art department administrative work such as contracting illustrators, hiring interns and managing them, maintaining our creative library and magazine wall, expenses, and other day-to-day tasks.
If there is one thing to learn from college it is time management. I think life at Picotte Hall really helped me prepare for that. As an art student I remember juggling project on top of project and fair enough, I feel I met most, if not all, of my deadlines. I remember between classes I would hit the screen printing studio to throw another layer on a project, and while it was drying I would be finishing up some design work for the class ahead. Being able to juggle multiple projects at a time is invaluable for any career especially in NYC. People love efficiency here.
What is your favorite memory/experience in college (keep it PG)?
There are a few but here is a favorite memory going back to my freshman year… I remember being very intimidated going into art school. I had no prior education in graphic design, or any legit art classes for that matter. I made my art portfolio my senior year of high school during study halls and lunch breaks. So, to say the least I was intimidated coming into my art classes with next to no experience. Spring semester of my freshman year I entered a few pieces into the undergraduate art show. Low and behold, they got in and I remember officially feeling like I belonged. Having my family come to the show at Picotte Hall my first spring semester in college really made me feel like I belonged. Shout out to Paul Mauren, my 3D art professor, the twisted wood project made the cut!
What was your favorite class?
Ah, there are so many! I absolutely loved my Drawing 3 class with Ken Ragsdale. He really pushed his students and knew how to relate to them. There were numerous times when I thought I would be at my breaking point because I just couldn’t get it “right”. Ken would come to my side, take a step back with me and we would analyze it together. Brian Cirmo will always be a favorite teacher of mine. He knew how to juggle being a great teacher and friend while taking no s*%# from his students. I absolutely loved Karene Faul’s screen-printing class as well. There was something so nice about taking a break from my computer classes and getting on top of my art table, Indian style, and water soling my screen for hours. There is something really therapeutic about that.
Proudest out of college moment to date?
Making it in this big bad city. I had a tough year of finding my niche here, and after moving from a few positions I finally feel like I am on the right track. I have a great job, work with some really awesome people, have amazing roommates and friends so I’m feeling pretty blessed at the moment.
What was your favorite off campus restaurant?
If I don’t say WT’s (Washington Tavern), I’d be lying.
What was your favorite thing to do or see in Albany?
Sadly, I only made it down to the Plaza a few times but it was one of my favorite places to go. Walking around the Plaza during the summer and even the wintertime was just breathtaking. Whenever I would go, it would be nice and quiet so I was actually able to enjoy the architecture. Tulip Fest, Lark Fest, Rose Rock with a crew of friends will always be some of my favorite memories.
Do you have any advice for current or future students?
Appreciate your professors and suck up as much information out of them as possible. I know without the assistance of Kris Herrick, I wouldn’t be where I am today. She single handedly helped all the graphic design students nail top-notch internships and continues to email and keep all GD alumni posted on job opportunities across the country. That’s just impressive if you ask me.
Just Kids is my most recent favorite book.
Don’t get me started on food…
You would think that I answered that last question…Thank you Kelly for your life update. Make sure to check out Kelly’s Portfolio! If you have any questions or comments for Kelly please feel free to leave them in the comment section! Keep an eye out for our next Alumni in Action!