During my first year of high school, I found my creative brain. My calling was painting and drawing. I was fortunate to receive a National Scholastic Award for a self-portrait I created at the end of my first year, and received this recognition at Carnegie Hall in New York City. From then, I dove deep into creating and building my portfolio, especially portraiture.
Four years sure flew by. Not only was I a creative, but an athlete. Basketball was my strength, and fortunately after high school I was offered a scholarship to play at Northern Michigan University. Choosing to attend NMU, meant that I had to figure out what I wanted to do with my life? Yikes. Well, I knew I loved creating, but I wasn’t going to be a starving artist. After touring the Art and Design Department at NMU, and seeing amazing opportunity within, I turned to the digital side, and chose graphic design. This was a new world to me, but one that I found would help me succeed and it has. After my basketball career was complete, I could gain some experience as Graphic Designer for NMU Dining Services and INVENT@NMU.
“Your college years will fly by even faster,” said Peter Yaeger, one of my mentors/teachers in high school. That’s the truth. I knew post-graduation that I’d be staying in the Upper Peninsula, which I never thought I would say, being from Milwaukee. I knew being a graphic designer looking for a job in a small town would be tough. I was extremely proactive and determined early on, that before graduation in May I would find a job.
My advisor at NMU, Jane Milkie recommended I reach out to one of her former students, John Bennett at Bennett Media Group. So I did. John and I met for coffee at Babycakes, where he told me they weren’t hiring at the moment, but potentially would be in the near future toward graduation, which would be perfect timing. From then, John and I kept in contact, and I started working on a few projects here and there for Bennett Media Group. May quickly surprised us, and John brought me on the team officially.
Being the graphic designer and social media manager for Bennett Media Group has taught me a lot in the time I’ve been there. Team camaraderie and collective creative process on bringing a campaign to life with each of my colleagues have been huge factors in the success of our company. Along with the relationships formed along the way, I continue to cherish the ability to work with a group of hard working, driven individuals every day!-Alyson