ECU is considered one of the best Art Schools in the state of North Carolina, however for Megan it took a suggestion from her mother to get her to consider majoring in the Arts.
“I’ve always been creative,” Megan said. “Not so much with arts and crafts, but with technology. I did some things for my church on Word, doing simple things, and it always looked good so my mom suggested I major in Graphic Design. By faith, I had no idea what Graphic Design was, but I chose it knowing it was something in the Arts.”
Megan began taking Graphic Design classes and quickly fell in love.
“I started taking these classes and just loved what I was doing,” Megan said. “I was one of the better students in the class.”
Even after discovering out her true passion, Megan still felt like there was something missing from her life. This is where her journey with Emmanuel College began, and it all started with a new relationship.
“I met my now fiancé Nick who attended Emmanuel College and I started visiting him at school,” Megan said. “He would show me around campus and took me to The Lantern where students would worship freely on Thursday evenings. I got introduced to the students there and they were all so different from the students at ECU. I knew I wanted to be here, I really did.”
Megan knew how difficult it would be to transfer to Emmanuel, so at first the idea of transferring was just a pipe dream. She continued to pray about it though and God opened the door for her to come to Emmanuel, where she knew He wanted her to be.
“God worked it out for me,” Megan said. “I only had to make a couple of phone calls and then Emmanuel did the rest. Most of my classes transferred and those that didn’t, I got help to find out what those credits would go toward. I told Emmanuel that I wanted to graduate as soon as possible and that door was available for me to walk through. It was such a smooth transition.”
Megan is now on pace to graduate in the fall of 2017 and her interest in Graphic Design has only broadened at EC. She now works as the work study to Emmanuel’s graphic design faculty member, Ms. Anna Shelton, where she designs flyers, brochures, banners, and apparel used by the college.
“I’m really proud of the work I’ve done for Emmanuel,” Megan said. “Seeing those things come to life, the tee-shirts, the posters, the flyers, that makes me really proud. It gets me excited because it becomes this tangible thing that I can touch. It’s brought to life and I love that.”
So much so that Megan hopes to continue the same type of work after graduation.
“I love the work I do here,” Megan said. “I want to be in advertising and marketing, putting things out there for a business, making things into a bundle for them like brochures, websites, that’s my big interest.”
What has made her time at Emmanuel unique?
“I just love the staff here,” Megan said. “At ECU there were 32,000 students on campus and here at Emmanuel most of my classmates are in every one of my classes. We’re all one big family here. It’s so inviting and fun, sometimes it doesn’t even feel like school. You want to be here. I love the family and friends that I’ve made at Emmanuel.”
One professor that has become not only a mentor but a friend to Megan is her work study advisor and Graphic Design professor, Anna Shelton.
“Ms. Shelton, she’s hard on me because I’m her work study but I look up to her for her Graphic Design and photography work,” Megan said. “I think she does great work so she inspires me and she’s that teacher that’s always willing to help you. You’re never a burden to her, she’s always open to helping any of her students.”
Megan has had to minor in time management this fall as she has had to juggle several things including school, her work study job, an internship with the Franklin County Citizen Leader, a photography business, and planning a wedding, but she is thankful to have had some help.
“I’m trying to stay on top of everything,” Megan said. “Time management skills and being organized have helped. I’ve got a lot of people that help me out as well, my mom is helping me plan the wedding so I haven’t had my hand in much of that.”
Even with everything on her plate, Megan still makes time to work on her portfolio, something she advises anyone looking to go into Graphic Design to keep up with.
“Graphic Design is a practice,” Megan said. “It’s something you can keep developing and learning from, the same is true with photography. I’ve looked back at photos I took in 2012 and then at ones I took recently, and it looks like a completely different photographer took them because the style is different and has gotten better.”
As a Graphic Designer and successful photographer, Megan has received countless pieces of advice, but advice given to her by Charles Powell, Creative Director at LifeSprings Resources is what has stuck with her.
“He told me to keep on working on Graphic Design, even in the evenings or during the day when I’m not doing anything,” Megan said. “He told me that the students at Emmanuel, we all do the same work, the same assignments, and we’re all going to take those assignments into the world and show our portfolios to businesses. In Georgia, there are only a few firms and companies we can go to, so they’re all going to see the same work.”
Mr. Powell changed Megan’s perspective on her portfolio when he asked on simple question, “What do you have to offer that’s different from your classmates?”
With his advice in mind, Megan has spent her spare time, when no one is looking or demanding anything from her, developing her skill and adding to her portfolio in her own way. She knows this advice will come in handy when she graduates and hopes that the extra time she’s taken to perfect her skill will help her portfolio stand out from the crowd.