Alumni Stories

Stella McCallister Gramby

Stella McCallister Gramby

[My education] prepared me to be professional and to do the best I possibly could. Stella McCallister Gramby Diploma in Digital Design, 2010 , The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division

Creates Logos, Corporate Identities, Ads for Clients

Stella McCallister Gramby is a self-employed graphic designer who specializes in creating logos, corporate identities, advertisements, and flyers for clients. Prior to starting her own company, she worked for American Express, The Pushpin Group, Corporate Graphics, Cheryl Miller Design, John Morning Design, Time Warner Graphics, and Women's Wear Daily.

Her typical day includes communicating with current and new clients. “I've had to have a very high level of commitment to excel. If I needed to learn something, I get directly on the internet to find a way to learn it. I do not stop searching until I learn what I need to know.”

Stella adds that she faced a personal and career challenge when the injured her foot and had to use a wheelchair. “After a while, I realized that I didn't come all this way to stop my career. I had everything I needed right on the computer, email, and phone. I began to market myself as a remote graphic designer. I created a website and began to post the link everywhere I could. Before you know it, I began to get [requests to do] work.”

Her “don’t give up” attitude has enabled her to continue challenging herself—she’s learned how to use Wordpress and other software, and adds that she sees her hard work pay off when she gains new clients. Stella also advocates the importance of networking and using sites such as LinkedIn. “I have joined many of the groups on LinkedIn. If I have a question about a program or how to do something, I ask in the appropriate group. People know who I am and remember me there. They also listen when I have something to share.”

Stella, who in 2010 earned a Digital Design Diploma from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division, says that her education provided the foundation she needed to be successful in her career. “[It] prepared me to be professional and to do the best I possibly could.”

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