Alumni Stories

Jeffrey Siereveld

Web Design & Interactive Media

Freelance Website Designer
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division

Jeffrey Siereveld

My education taught me the basic fundamentals of web design and interactive media, [including] the ability to read and manipulate it to get the results I am looking for. Jeffrey Siereveld , Freelance Website Designer Associate of Science in Web Design & Interactive Media, 2014 , The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division

Jeffrey Siereveld is a freelance designer specializing in WordPress websites. He says that a typical day involves building sites or adjusting the layout of an already-existing website. “I spend a lot of time researching the industry. Whether that is testing WordPress themes or researching a niche for my next big idea, there's always something to do.”

Before becoming a freelancer, Jeffrey was a web design intern for Blizzard Internet Marketing, creating sites for the vacation rental, travel, and tourism industry. He understands the competitive nature of his industry and recommends that students find ways to break up their days increase productivity. “It will help you to keep moving forward when the going gets tough.”

Jeffrey says that the biggest professional challenge he’s encountered is making the decision to become a professional freelancer. “The agency I worked for told me it was going to

He adds that he finds clients via word of mouth—saying they are better to work with and often pay more than those found on freelancer websites. Jeffrey says that designers need to understand that everyone must pay their dues as they make their way up the ladder. “There’s a good chance that you will have to take jobs that pay less than you expect. But until your professional portfolio is built out enough to attract or persuade people that don't know anything about you, it will be really hard to charge $100 per hour or more than $1,000 for a simple website. Eventually you will get there.”

He cites a quote by Eric Thomas as being motivational: ”When you want to succeed, as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.” And he keeps creativity flowing by maintaining a clean and organized workspace. “It's so easy for me to work late into the night and have empty cans or water bottles on or around my desk before I step over to my bed and fall asleep. So keeping my work area clean and organized definitely impacts my creativity.”

Jeffrey states that his roommate is also a mentor. “My roommate is an search engine optimization (SEO) expert who has been working in this industry for about four years longer than I have. He’s created his own company that has been growing every day and he doesn't have any employees. Just seeing what he is doing, and learning about SEO from him, has given me the desire to create a company of my own and not give up on it.”

He believes that his biggest challenge is the continually changing industry. He keeps growing and learning to keep ahead of trends. Jeffrey, who in 2014 earned an Associate of Science in Web Design & Interactive Media from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division, says that his education provided the fundamentals he needed to move into a web design career. “The knowledge of HTML and CSS, and the ability to read an manipulate it to get the results I am looking for, have been a huge help.”

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