Guiding Students into Careers in Print

It’s a scene that’s playing out in many industries, as employers are looking at a potential lack of skilled employees to hire. And in the print industry, there is a dangerous misconception about the most recent grads and the quality of work they bring. One professor is out to change that misperception.

“There are a lot of misconceptions about today’s students,” explains Dr. Erica Walker of the Department of Graphic Communications at Clemson University.

“[Employers] think that [this generation of students is] lazy, and that they don’t want to work,” Dr. Walker continues in the video interview from What They Think, “and I really don’t find that to be true.”

Rather, she explains, recent grads often lack the ability to clearly communicate when they need help or assistance in learning a new job. They need to get used to constructive criticism and creative feedback, to be better prepared for the real world.

To that end, Dr. Walker works with students and recent grads of her program to help them take advantage of career opportunities in the field. Many of those opportunities are in sports marketing and communications, and Dr. Walker explains that her department works closely with the Athletic Department to help promote the school’s sports brand. But she cautions that students must understand that not all work in the field will be “sexy” or as glamorous as sports marketing.

“[Our students] can take that creativity that they learn in sports comm, and pull it into the rest of the industry,” she explains, continuing, “The more experience students can have on the ground, whether it’s real world experience or in the classroom, helps the student and the client to find where the synergy is, to find the right employee.”

For employees, the recent grads they are bringing on are truly the future of their brands. It’s worth the effort to work with new hires to find that synergy and help these grads realize their full potential. We are certainly grateful to people like Dr. Walker for continuing to build the future of the graphic print industry in this way.