- What are the advantages and (possible disadvantages) of having actual company experience in your background?
- What educational degrees or knowledge has helped you to become successful at transitioning from a company worker to a freelancer and then back to a company worker in 2006 when a newer, more financially stable internet company begins to hire talent?
- What can self-taught freelancers (those with limited or no previous company experience at all) do to help secure a paid entry-level position at a company while attending a media college, arts school, or pursuing a media related degree at a regular public university? (this is me)
- A self-taught freelancer has a day job but also designs on the side and his technical skills are superb. But he/she hasn't worked as a design employee before so he's unfamiliar with the kind of teamwork and interpersonal skills used in a design studio. What educational classes are essential for learning these skills?
- What exactly should people have in their job portfolio for the current web/graphic design industry?
During the late 90s, I was a highschool student who had an unpaid internship at a multimedia/graphic design studio in San Francisco. Absolutely loved working there, but I did not have enough time or skills to help guarantee a paid, entry-level position in the future. Also, my mentors told me the usual "you have to go to college first, develop your portfolio, etc". Isn't that crushing when they tell you that?
Anyways, the company I interned at went out of business in 2001, and afterwards I began to learn that many people who previously worked there became self-employed, and were successful at being entrepreneurs. This motivated me to become self-employed because I had retained the skills learned from my internship, and so began my two years of providing a high-quality service for small businesses and friends in my community. The reasons I placed such a high emphasis on quality design and coding work were two-fold: Develop long-term working relationships with my clients and impress comeback studios interested in hiring new talent.
This hasn't happened yet because: I still need to improve my technical and people/teamwork skills, complete college, complete more projects (3 are in the bag so far) and I am not focusing on web/graphic design as my sole career objective because I am a Business Major. It's frustrating to look on the Craigslist job boards and find that I can't yet qualify for most of the positions posted there. I don't have a BA!
Thanks for reading this long post and I look forward to the suggestions you might have.