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Perspectives on Mentoring

 

Welcome to our bi-monthly blog where members of the WISE Within community share insights and their WISE Within experience.


 

February 1, 2017

WISE Within Makes Dream Jobs Come True


I have a passion for creating visual representations that impact and inspire. It is an enthusiasm I developed in high school, and since then, I’ve designed print and digital graphics for the wallpaper industry, my alma mater’s alumni club and concert venues across the nation. But of all the work I have done, my favorite content to design has been for the sports industry.

In college, I designed graphics for the University of Michigan athletic department. Impassioned fans would look to my designs on the scoreboard at half time and would collect the college athlete trading cards that I had designed. I loved being a contributor to the excitement sports had to offer.

Following graduation, I landed a job designing wallpaper for background elements that appear in feature films, network television, retail spaces and individuals’ homes, but after reflecting on my interests, I realized I wanted to transition into sports.

To learn more about a career in the industry, I joined WISE and enjoyed attending the WISE events, where I always left feeling inspired by the women — so dominant in their careers — that I had met. However, making an industry change after four and a half years seemed daunting. I didn’t have the connections to break into such a competitive field; I didn’t have industry experience -college. I thought a mentor in the sports industry could help advise me. When I heard about the WISE Within mentor program, I applied — and was shocked when I was accepted!

I was paired with the creative director for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Ross Yoshida, a veteran designer in a niche market. During our meetings, Ross gave me editing tips on my portfolio, going through each piece and suggesting how I might improve, and proposed projects I could work on in my free time to strengthen my portfolio. Through these meetings, I also learned about the broad scope of Ross’ in-house design department, which covers print, digital, scoreboard graphics, giveaways and stadium graphics. The variety of the work excited me.

I kept in touch with Ross, and two years later, he was looking for a designer to fill a vacant position and asked if I was interested. I submitted my application and was optimistic, but continued applying for other positions. Turns out, I was the top candidate, and I was thrilled to accept the job.

I have completed my first season working for Ross at the Dodgers, and I’ve loved creating promotional materials for the committed fans and seeing my work projected in front of thousands in Dodger Stadium multiple times a week. I feel so fortunate to be a part of the Dodgers family, designing for the best team in the league. I truly have the WISE Within committee to thank for providing me with the necessary link to help me find the dream job for this point in my career.