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“I thought I could break into this industry on my own. I was right.”

I thought I could break into this industry on my own. I was right.

After undergrad, I landed several internships and jobs before securing a full-time position at RP3 Agency as an Art Director/Designer/Creative Recruiter.

As a recruiter for RP3, I attended the VCU Brandcenter’s Recruiter Session event. Even as a professional, I wanted the type of work I saw in student books in my own portfolio. These students were solving interesting problems. Beyond that, I wanted to talk to all the other recruiters around me waiting in line to talk to soon-to-be Brandcenter grads. These students were getting a variety of opportunities that I would have to cold email to try to get.

But, Brandcenter meant loans. So I was hesitant.

My husband landed a tech job in SF this past year, and I started to job hunt in the SF area. I realized I knew many people in the Brandcenter network. I was dancing around the network but wasn’t truly apart of it. Could I get a job doing web design? Sure. But I said to myself, if I’m going to spend the next 30-40 years of my life working, I want to love what I’m doing and be a part of something bigger. I wanted to be in the Brandcenter network.

So here I am, first semester at the VCU Brandcenter.

So far I have been most impressed with the value placed on applying Art Direction thinking to digital, and having the opportunity to work with everyone in my class. This isn’t a traditional “pair an AD with a CW for a semester” type of program. I know coming out of this program will not only allow me to get my foot in the door, but I will also be backed by the reputation of a program that thoroughly prepares their students for their careers.

-Allison Rinaldi, art director track, class of 2018