Meet Our Alumni
Brittney CastilloFashion Design , 2016
The Art Institute of California—Hollywood, a campus of Argosy University
“I went on countless interviews and even started a job I didn't like before I came here. That process was definitely a test in determination. Sitting at my new desk, surrounded by people who value me, is a huge benefit that stemmed from my determination.”Read More
Brittney CastilloChanged Careers, Accepted Newly-Created Position in Company to Gain Valuable Experience
Brittney Castillo is an assistant designer at Evolutionary Apparel in El Monte, California. She creates tech packs and line sheets, and orders and tracks samples. Brittney is also responsible for spec-ing garments and vendor coordination. She admits that she has long days at work, but she enjoys the experience. “I don’t count the hours I spend at work anymore. Every day I [come in] and don’t go home until the work for the day is done. I’m passionate about what I do.”
She recalls interviews where potential employers told her that she was very talented but lacked industry experience. This motivated her to find an employer that would give her a chance to build her skills. “Luckily, I was able to find the perfect place to build that experience,” she says.
The position she currently holds is new, and she took it knowing that it could evolve over time. “It's a challenge walking into a position that isn't clearly defined. What I didn't know was that it's the best case scenario because I get to learn things that most design assistants don't because I'm helping in sales and production instead of just design. This will make me so much stronger in the future and more well-rounded.”
She advises current students to focus on the reason they’re studying fashion. “When things seem too hard, I always remember that I left a career [with a comfortable income] in order to follow my dreams and what makes me happy. I may be working back up but now I’m happy instead of doing something just for the income.”
Brittney, who in 2016 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design from The Art Institute of California—Hollywood, says that learning the design process from beginning to end in school helped her to be a supportive assistant designer. “[I can be relied on] to fill in any information and when [the designer I work with] needs to be in two places at once, she knows that she can have me step in.”
See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/274 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.Read More...
Julian SchienemanMedia Arts & Animation , 2007
The Art Institute of Atlanta
“[My education] instilled in me the skills of adaptability and resourcefulness.”Read More
Julian SchienemanOn-Air Graphic Designer for CNN Programs Including “New Day” and “Situation Room”
Julian Schieneman is an on-air graphic designer for CNN International. He’s responsible for daily workflow with producers and supervisors for the network’s programs “New Day,” “Newsroom,” “The Lead,” and “Situation Room.” Prior to joining CNN, Julian worked for companies including Fox Sports South and Fox Five. “Working in conjunction with show producers and editors, my job is to facilitate any graphic requests for on-air production. Often we have between 1-2 hours to complete the request, but during breaking news, we sometimes have as little as 10 minutes (yikes) to whip up something quickly.”
His fast-paced job means Julian is often learning on the go. “Although not the most desirable way to learn something, this taught me a valuable skill: Google-fu!” He adds that to succeed in the industry, he must be committed to keeping up with changing technologies and techniques. “You’re only as good as your last project. We are creatives, and at this point have become very good at creating things. The reality is that most people do not have that skill and it's a valuable skill that separates you from [others].”
He enjoys knowing that he’s been employed by one of the world’s largest news providers for over 10 years—and continues to push himself in his profession by attending trade shows, conferences, and watching trends.
Julian, who in 2007 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Media Arts & Animation from The Art Institute of Atlanta, says that his education taught the skills of adaptability and resourcefulness. “I can offer an array of skill sets that help out employers in a myriad of ways, whenever needed.” He recommends that current students stay inspired as they look at the bigger picture. “The struggles of today will be the foundation of your success in the near future.”
See http:/ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/323 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info. Read More...
Katherine SaldanaInterior Design , 2014
Miami International University of Art & Design
“My experience [in school] not only prepared me for my career; it prepared me for life outside of my career.”Read More
Katherine SaldanaDesigns, Plans, Selects Furniture for Client Projects
Katherine Saldana is a senior interior designer at 2ID Interiors in Hallandale, Florida. She’s responsible for interior design and project management. Each day begins with a team meeting, during which projects are prioritized. After the meeting, Katherine begins her work of designing, planning, and furniture selection.
Katherine emphasizes the importance of internships—she was hired by 2ID Interiors after completing an internship there. She’s excited to have moved from an internship position into a senior design position. “They trust my design skills and taste, so they give me the opportunity to handle projects from beginning to end. I feel very proud of that.”
She says that she’s influenced by Brazilian designers Oscar Niemeyer and Isay Weinfeld. She also looks to Tom Dixon and Kelly Wearstler for inspiration—as well as the products, textures, social media, and trends she encounters daily. Katherine adds that she enjoys the creativity of her work and that each project has its own identity. “It is beautiful to see your design ideas grow from paper to reality. You also get to know and work with many people who always teach you something new.”
Katherine, who in 2014 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Miami International University of Art & Design, says that her education helped her to face challenges. “I have become more confident. My experience [in school] not only prepared me for my career, it prepared me for life outside of my career.” She encourages current students to stay motivated and passionate. “It is not going to be easy and it is a long journey, but always be focused on your goals and priorities.”
See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/300 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.
Oscar GarciaDigital Filmmaking & Video Production , 2016
The Art Institute of Dallas, a branch of Miami International University of Art & Design
“[My education] gave me the tools and skills to get the job done.”Read More
Oscar GarciaDesigns and Builds Wireframes for Websites and Apps
Oscar Garcia is a user experience designer for Ackerman McQueen, and has worked with clients including Dolese, Springfield Armory, Integris Health, WinStarWorld Casino, and the NRA. He is responsible for designing and building out wireframes and comps for websites and apps.
Oscar says that the biggest challenge he’s faced in the industry is working with others. “Sometimes it is a challenge to get on the same page. I really had to become a more patient and open-minded person.” He adds that his profession requires commitment and many late nights. “It’s just pure, hard work and knowing that what I’m doing is going to pay off.”
He believes that competition with other artists keeps him sharp. “Looking at Instagram or Behance is humbling, seeing how other designers are working. It makes me want to step it up and take it to the next level.”
Oscar, who in 2016 earned an Associate of Applied Science in Digital Filmmaking & Video Production from The Art Institute of Dallas, says that his coursework provided the tools and skills needed in his profession. He adds that his natural creativity and eye for design helped him to get the most of out of his education. He encourages current students to stay focused and not give up. “Stick through it.” And he recommends freelancing to build a client list—and earn money. “[Freelancing while in school] made me feel like I made the right career choice.”
*As of December 2016, a branch of Miami International University of Art & Design
See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/4608 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.Read More...
Laura AriasCulinary Arts , 2015
The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University
“[My academic advisor instilled in] me a sense of discipline and to respect your teachers. It was humbling yet very informative. I owe a lot to all the instructors and I'm grateful I had the opportunity to work and learn under them.”Read More
Laura AriasPrepares Fresh Bread and Pastries for Hotel Banquets, Parties, Events
Laura Arias is a pastry chef at La Valencia Hotel. She’s responsible for filling dessert orders on the line during busy lunch and dinner services and preparing various desserts for hotel banquets, parties, and special events. “I prepare fresh baked dinner rolls, replenish pastry stock, [create] various ice creams and sorbets for the dessert menu, and fulfil [requests] for special guests.” Laura also makes cakes for hotel guests and steps in when needed on the hot line, as garde manger, or as a general helper during the dinner rush.
Laura refers to her coworkers as “family” and describes her work environment as “hectic.” She adds that balancing her career and family life is one of the biggest challenges she’s faced. “Life hit hard for me and my family this past summer. We had a death in the family. It wasn't unexpected but it was definitely not welcomed. Sometimes we need to put our careers on the back burners to [handle what] happens in our personal lives.”
But when she’s in the kitchen, she’s fully committed to her work. “[My career] requires a lot of dedication, perseverance, and discipline. In order to excel, you have to want it—even if it means going out of your way or doing things you never thought you’d be able to do.” She also works to bring a feeling of positivity to the kitchen, believing that positive energy and spreading “good vibes” are beneficial to her work environment.
Laura takes pride in a job well done. “[I enjoy] the satisfaction that it gives to others. The long days standing on my feet and running around the entire hotel is all worth it when I can make someone's day [with] my desserts. As long as they enjoy my [creations], that’s all that matters to me.”
Laura, who in 2015 earned an Associate of Science in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of California—San Diego, says that her education prepared her for the real world. “I had no prior experience in the industrial kitchen before I attended school. I just mainly worked from my home baking cakes and breads for family and friends. [In school], I learned how to treat the kitchen with respect.”
She credits her skills instructor and academic advisor, Chef John Miller, with teaching her to be strong in the kitchen, always have an open mind, keep working harder, and never give up. “He [instilled in] me a sense of discipline and to respect your teachers. It was humbling yet very informative. I owe a lot to all the instructors and I'm grateful I had the opportunity to work and learn under them.
See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/367 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.Read More...
Dominic LoSassoGraphic & Web Design , 1996
The Art Institute of Colorado
"Working with mediums that I wasn't necessarily familiar with opened my eyes to other possibilities. Learning these processes [in school] prepared me for a career in Visual Communications."Read More
Dominic LoSasso is a marketing manager at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), a large commercial real estate firm representing properties and buildings throughout the Denver area. “I work with internal staff and outside clients to promote these properties and increase leasing opportunities. The projects I create are for print and web.” Before joining JLL, he worked in graphic design for LaBac Systems, Sir Speedy, Experian, and Ultimate Electronics. He also had his own graphic design business.
In his career, Dominic has worked in departments of all sizes—from 20 people to just one. “I'll admit, it's hard to stay motivated and creative when you're the only one, but there are tools and resources out there to keep you fresh and sharp.” To keep his creativity flowing, he’d start up friendly competitions with colleagues for logo design or brainstorm sessions for a project. He also subscribes to trade publications including Communication Arts and participates in networking groups such as Art Directors Club. Dominic also attends portfolio reviews at his alma mater, The Art Institute of Colorado, to see what recent graduates are producing.
He says that communication is a consistent challenge in his industry. “[There will always be people who] say ‘I don't know what I don't like, I just don't like it.’ I find that providing options is the best solution. I also ask them to give me examples of other things they've seen (internal or a competing company) that communicate what they're looking for.”
Dominic, who in 1996 earned an Associate of Applied Science in Visual Communications/Graphic Design from The Art Institute of Colorado, says that his education provided a broad knowledge of different art mediums and showed him how to apply them in a career. “Working with mediums that I wasn't necessarily familiar with opened my eyes to other possibilities. Learning these processes prepared me for a career in Visual Communications.” He adds that design is an all-in career. “There's no two-ways about it, you have to go full-force, if you want to work in this field and succeed.”
See aiprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.Read More...
FUNDING YOUR EDUCATION
At The Art Institutes, financial aid is available to those who qualify. We’re here to help you understand what you need to know to fund your creative education. We want you to succeed, so we offer a number of financial aid options to assist you in meeting your financial needs.
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We found these Ai campuses within 200 miles of Ashburn [change location]
The Art Institute of Washington, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta
The Art Institute of Philadelphia
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh-Online Division
James Beard Foundation award winning Chef Chris Shepherd utilized his annual “Southern Smoke” benefit to raise $500,000 to assist those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
Geji McKinney-Banks was featured on ESPN.com for her 23-year career preparing healthy meals for the NFL team.
The Dream Center Foundation announced the completion of the transfer of assets of several of the nation’s most well-known for-profit higher education institutions.
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