We were fortunate to reconnect with our alumni from 2015, Matt Kunysz, for a virtual “catch up” on how he has been doing over the past few years. This is the first in a series of alumni interviews to reconnect with our #VCADgrads.
Where are you currently working?
I currently work at Global Village Victoria, an English language school.
The first year after I graduated, I was doing freelance work. It was a steep learning curve, as I had to learn “on the fly” how much to quote people and set up rules for dealing with clients. From that experience, I knew that I wanted more stability.
When I applied for a job at Global Village Victoria, I started with three hours of work a week. I soon realized that there was so much I had to offer the company. I helped them innovate with fresh ideas and new concepts for design. Since then, I’ve progressed into a full-time Senior Designer role and have been provided opportunities to train and lead teams worldwide.
What led you to VCAD and what did you study?
I studied Graphic Design at VCAD. Before VCAD, I was in Calgary and I performed “street magic gigs” at YYC airport and Djing at nightclubs. I didn’t have any formal education besides a High School diploma.
One day, I was reflecting and found myself not liking where I was at. I was getting older, and no banks were going to give me a loan for a mortgage as a magician or DJ. I wasn’t earning enough to have savings.
I moved to Vancouver to change my life trajectory and ended up at VCAD. As a child I used to use MS Paint and later in life, enjoyed making event posters for music events, so the Graphic Design program seemed like the right fit. I was also drawn to VCAD since their Graphic Design program was only two years in length, instead of four.
What was the most valuable thing you learned at VCAD?
Initially, I thought that VCAD was just a school to learn Photoshop. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself learning the whole suite of applications that graphic designers need to know how to use.
One of the most valuable things I learned from my instructors is that you have to continuously “bend your mind muscles” to stay on top of your game, or else you will become stagnant in the industry. It’s always a good idea to take on freelance opportunities to keep your brain fresh and active.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in your journey as a graphic designer?
Shortly after I started at VCAD, I became a single father. I was in school full-time, working, and raising a child. My friends were supportive and helped me find childcare. My instructors were extremely understanding and flexible when I had to miss classes here and there. My classmates assisted by sending me the notes from the classes I missed.
In the end, I was able to graduate near the top of my class.
What kind of advice would you give to people graduating from VCAD’s Graphic Design program?
See the light at the end of the tunnel. Keep honing your craft and keep working at it.
You may not find the perfect job right away, and you may even get some clients who make you question if you made the right career choice, but eventually, you will find the place perfectly suited for you. Sometimes, that opportunity might just fall in your lap.
Want to reconnect with us and share your journey? Send an email to email@example.com.