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7 Art Institutes Alumni to Watch

By: Rachel Handel Filed under: Interior & Product Design

June 2, 2015

Ai alumni

Alumni from across The Art Institutes system of schools are doing what they love, for life in a wide variety of careers in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary. Meet 7 of our successful alumni whose names we think you’ll keep seeing for years to come!

Jason Pettibone, Associate Environment Artist, Sony Computer Entertainment America

Jason’s current gaming project is so secret, he can’t even name it. So how did he break into this competitive, exciting career? Through a real-world education that showed him first-hand what he could expect. “I learned how to seek knowledge and fend for myself in a chaotic and fickle industry.” Read more about his career and education here.

Heather Ditson, Head Designer, Swimwear; Calvin Klein @ G-III Apparel Group

Finding her design niche didn’t happen overnight for Heather—like other successful designers, she had to put in her time and make her mark in the industry. “If you [have] five years as a swimsuit designer, it doesn’t mean you are qualified to move right into an evening wear design position.” Get more details on Heather’s career path now.

Grant Bell, Vice President of Design and Engineering, Focus Product Design

Grant’s expertise, focus, and dedication to his craft have landed him in forums alongside the foremost leaders in design. “I recently heard someone say ‘you get what you work for, not what you dream for.’ So work hard and it will pay off.” Hear more from Grant here.

Jamie Bissonnette, Chef and Owner, Toro and Coppa

Jamie Bissonnette is the James Beard Foundation Best Chef: Northeast 2014 winner, among the biggest awards of the culinary world. He was previously nominated in 2012 and 2013 for this award and was Food & Wine Magazine’s “People’s Choice Best New Chef” in 2011—the same year he appeared on the Food Network’s Chopped and left victorious. Watch Jamie talk about his process of transforming recipes into unique culinary creations, or read more about his success here.

Steven James Taylor, Advance Model Maker, Apple

In simple terms, Steven makes a pile of nuts, bolts, and other parts come together into working prototypes that support Apple’s industrial and interaction design. “I design not on paper, but with a pair of calipers, an exacto blade, and a hand tool,” he says. Find out more about Steven’s work.

Luke Brigham, Chef/Owner, Nouvelle Restaurant

Luke began his culinary career as a food service specialist for the United States Army. Now he takes the skills he learned in the military and combines them with culinary creativity chef and owner at Nouvelle Restaurant. “My education reinforced the fact that this career is very difficult,” he says. Learn more about Luke’s career here.

The Art Institutes proudly notes that 18% of its student body has served—or is currently serving—in in the military. (See what makes The Art Institutes a military-friendly school here.)

Courtney Falconer, Senior Associate Designer, Discover

Courtney turned down a full time job for a three-month internship. While some might call that crazy, Courtney’s risk taking paid off and started her on the path to success. “I wouldn't change a thing. It was a risk I had to take and it definitely paid off for me.” Learn more about how Courtney’s education and instructors prepared her for this career.

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