Texas State alumna speaks about communication design and breaking into the professional world

By Rebecca Harrell

rlh219@txstate.edu

SAN MARCOS, Texas – Texas State University alumna Victoria Salinas gave three lectures Wednesday about her career from student to intern to professional in the media design field during Mass Comm Week.

Salinas graduated from TSU in 2017 with a bachelor of fine arts degree in communication design. She was a graphic design intern for Margin Walker Presents as well as an art direction intern for Latinworks during her collegiate career, both located in Austin. She worked as a user experience designer for Frost Bank following graduation and now works as a product designer for Sysco.

Her presentation consisted of what media design is, how she became a product designer and best practices for success, sharing her tips to navigate through college and transition into the work field.

Salinas started college as an art major then switched her fall semester of her senior year. She has been an artist since she was three years old when she won a media design award in her local community and was seriously introduced to art in high school.

“It’s a way for me to communicate the story I have in my head,” Salinas said. “I prefer to speak through shapes and colors.”

Salinas said art allows her to express herself in a way which words cannot, and it is a way for her to communicate her thoughts onto paper.

“I love fine art and drawing and painting and all of that stuff, but not for a career. I wanted to do something more people oriented,” Salinas said.

She defined the skills necessary to work in the project design field were education, a skillful portfolio, attention to design and basic understanding of coding, such as HTML and CSS.

Victoria Salinas shares her education and experience in the communication design industry on Oct. 16 at Old Main during Mass Communication Week.

Salinas spoke about the multitudinous ways in which she networked in order to make connections in the communications industry. She said she attended free events she found on Facebook and LinkedIn, spent hours in the offices with her TSU professors and held what she called coffee talks where she reached out to designers and alum to learn about their experiences working in the real world.

TSU digital media innovation major Maria Coraza said that Mass Communication Week is helpful to narrow her interest in the professional world and that Salinas showed her the importance of following your interests.

“It’s nice to be involved and learn things about the industry and have alum come speak to us,” Coraza said. “It’s never too late to do what you want.”

TSU public relations major Christina Mendoza also expressed the importance of networking in the field and asked Salinas about the advantages of being a Latina woman in the profession.

“Latinas are not common in communication fields of design and coding and development of that kind,” Mendoza said.

Salinas said that her advice for those who feel like a minority group in the industry is to find others to relate to and connect with them and that as a Latina she has advantageous skills in human connection and knowledge of people.

Mendoza mentioned nonprofit groups in Austin that she networks with who work with minority youth to help build their future and said that she had to search to find what was available to help her career.

Salinas said in order to succeed one has to make their own path and encouraged students to reach out to their professors, get involved in career fairs and continue to research online to advance in any field.

“If you want it, go get it,” Salinas said. “Figure out where you want to be and just get there.”

To learn more about the communication design program at TSU, visit their website at https://www.finearts.txstate.edu/Art/academics/undergrad/ugrad-comdes.html.

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