Return to Alumni Alliance Success Stories
CTE Media Communications Technology Graduate
Assistant Graphic Designer
Rick Products, Buffalo, NY
I currently work for Rich Products in Buffalo as an Assistant Graphic Designer. I design the artwork and layouts that you’ll see on food product packaging that we sell globally in stores like Walmart, Sam’s, Kroger, Costco, etc.. I work closely with a unique natural work team that focuses primarily on the Protein portion of the business. So that means any seafood, BBQ, french toast sticks, mozzarella sticks, and things along those lines from Rich’s are done by myself and my team. My journey to this position was interesting, but so worth it! I studied graphic design and photography through high school and college with the big dream of opening up my own art studio. I was lucky to intern and freelance for quite a few print shops and small agencies while I was focusing on my schooling. I graduated from Villa Maria College with a BFA in Graphic Design and a Minor in Photography in 2017. After college I was hired at one of the places I had done a design internship for and took on 2 other design jobs to support myself. One of those additional jobs was not a great fit and I decided to put my resume up on LinkedIn. Shortly after that I received a message from a temp agency in NYC and took a chance, even though I thought it might be a scam. I was interviewed and hired for a temporary Packaging Graphics Specialist role at Rich’s – my temping time lasted 6 months before I was hired permanently and during that time I was able to work on many different categories including Desserts, Pizza, Bakery, and International – creating graphics that are interesting for consumers to pick up, but still meet FDA requirements. I gained quite a bit of experience in a short amount of time and have since moved up in ranks and am the leading graphics SPOC for the Protein category. I have now been with Rich’s for almost 3 years and it’s the best role with a plethora of opportunities to grow and learn. My CTE education helped me tremendously because it gave me the opportunity to dive into a field that I felt I wanted to pursue. It gave me the opportunity to see if graphic design and photography was a good fit before I went to college. Studying Multi-Media was the perfect guide and introduction to what I was choosing to do for my career. My experience in Mrs. C’s classroom solidified my passion so I could go into college with a leg up and the drive to get where I wanted to be.CA BOCES helped me build experience and a portfolio, CA BOCES gave me the opportunity to attend a Portfolio Review where I ultimately found the college I ended up enrolling in, CA BOCES gave me an experience that took me out of my comfort zone and really pushed my creativity in the best possible ways. CA BOCES was the first time where schooling made me feel like I was on the right path and I enjoyed every minute learning from Mrs. C. Her class was truly my first serious step into the art field and without question has played an essential part in where I am now.