What in the hell should I do
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Thread: What in the hell should I do

  1. #1
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    What in the hell should I do

    Hey everybody. I need some input.

    I'm a 3rd year industrial design major at CCAD in Ohio. It's not the best school in the world, but it's certainly not the best. I've been looking for a way out for a while (Ohio is a desolate dead-end of a state, basically).

    Anyway, last month I applied and successfully got into Artcenter. (I know, WOO right?). I'm still waiting about financial aid and everything, but basically, what my feeling has been is that even if I got only a little or no money from them whatsoever, it would still be worth it. One of my professors, for whom I have a great deal of respect, said the same thing, he said "well it may be expensive, that's the downside, but on the other hand you basically just got into Harvard".

    The only thing is, I'm a junior now, and I am only 3 semesters away from graduating. When I went to Artcenter, and talked to the admissions lady there, she told me that basically, while my liberal arts classes may transfer, it's highly unlikely that any of my studio stuff would, and I would basically be starting over from scratch.

    So, here are my options:

    Option 1: Stay Here

    Pros: Almost finished with my degree, less expensive to live/go to school here, could still probably get a decent job with a degree from CCAD regardless.

    Cons: CCAD has almost no name recognition, the professors and school have pretty crummy connections within the industry, I'm 2,000 miles away from the entertainment/concept art industry, and Ohio is a soul-crushing, dreary cold wasteland.

    Option 2: Transfer to Artcenter

    Pros: Artcenter has a stellar reputation, an amazing campus with every possible resource, and is close to/has lots of connections with the entertainment industry and the industrial design world.

    Cons: It would be more expensive, (likely meaning many extraneous loans on my part) to go to school and just to live in southern california in general, and if none of my studio credits transfer than it'll mean another 7 or 8 semesters in college (even though I could finish that at artcenter in about 2.5 years).


    I'm really torn about all of this. I got into my dream school but now I'm second guessing myself. Anybody have any advice?

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  2. #2
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    Hi I'm an industrial designer too. I would jump at the chance to go to Art Center, really, I would. But, have you thought about going there for grad school? You could work a little after graduating, save some money and then go when you really have a focus or something. I don't think there's any "wrong" decision here, either way you'll get an education and doors will open.

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  3. #3
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    Well not meaning to knock Art Center and their earned reputation, you seem to put a LOT of stock into them getting you into the business. Now I'll be the first one to admit they are geographically closer to a lot of the businesses, I hope you do realize that it's your portfolio that lands you a gig in the field, not the pedigree.

    Regardless of what school you attend, you're going to have to bust butt not just in the classroom but beyond it. CCAD is not as bad of a school as you may come close to painting it (no pun intended); I've heard some wonderful things about their programs and nearly considered going there myself eons ago- the Illustration program there under Chris Payne is phenomenal. The one "great" thing about being in the midwest is that you are going to be focused on your artwork; there are fewer distractions here.

    And no offense to Ohio & the rest of the midwest, but seeing as how I teach up here in Michigan (at CCS), but we crank out a goodly amount of students here and they all end up migrating out to California to work in the buisness. But it befalls them to work hard and be a part of that community. Now I can't speak for CCAD's alumni network but we have guys like Doug Chiang, Marc Gabbana, Jay Shuster, Bill Morrison, Tani Kunitake, Tim Flattery, and a whole host of other well established CCS alums in the field to whom we utilize as a resource. Does CCAD have a list of California alums you can tap into? Talk to them because they've done it. Ask them how they survived CCAD and got into the field.

    As far as the choices you've laid out, they're both valid. What I would do in that situation might be completely different from what someone else would choose and neither one of us would be wrong. You've got to choose what's right for you- and again, it might be totally 180? from someone else.

    Regardless of which school you choose, realize that it's not the school that gets you the job, nor is its repuation- it's ultimately you and your portfolio that lands the gig.

    Don't look at your midwest upbringing as a downside either. Your background here has enriched you in ways you might not totally comprehend yet and is so uniquely different from someone on the west coast, Miami or wherever. You've got some talent- now harness it with the drive to succeed. Look at the business model (portfolio, application to the job, presentation, personal skills, etc.) of a successful concept person and use them to your advantage.

    Good luck.

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