Lauren Waller '14

Lauren WallerMajor: Graphic Design
Hometown: Morenci, MI

Describe your current job role:

Following my last position at AlphaGraphics, my husband and I decided to begin two companies: Meridian Physical Therapy and Wellness and Inkling Creative. I am the owner and “Chief Inker” at Inkling Creative, a print design company in south Florida. [As an aspect of print design, in my spare time I design unique Christian clothing – you can find that on the shop page of my website linked below.] My days are filled with designing, marketing, accounting, managing, and more. I am also running the design side of Meridian.

What professional experience(s) did you have prior to your current job role?

During my senior year at PBA, I had an internship at Levatas where I learned what it was like to work in a company based on providing design services. After college I was hired on as a temporary Junior Graphic Designer at Aurora Diagnostic, a healthcare diagnostics company. It is here that I first started learning about and loving print and print design. Following that, I entered into the world of print as a Graphic Designer and Customer Service Representative at AlphaGraphics. Here I learned indispensable business skills, especially those relating to print design.

What do you know now that you wish you had known about being a working professional?

Knowing what I know now, I wish I would have learned more about the business aspects of being a freelance graphic designer, and I wish I would have taken the time to ask my professors about it. I knew that freelance design was something they did on the side, but I never availed myself to their valuable well of knowledge.

"Use your time to learn as much as you can about career and life skills." 

How did PBA prepare you for the world of work?

PBA gave me the skills I needed to be a graphic designer and taught me how to search for the answers I don’t know. My time at PBA also reinforced the important lesson that reliance upon God in every area of life is absolutely essential.

What advice would you give to current PBA students and/or young alumni who are about to start their first professional full-time job?

I would tell students two things: first, learn as much as you can from your professors. God has given them to you; they are significant assets. They are at PBA to educate students on a certain subject, but their knowledge extends far beyond what they teach you in class. Take advantage of that knowledge. Second: “You will never have more time than you have right now,” said Professor Craft. Use your time to learn as much as you can about career and life skills you may need in the future. You’ll wish you did, because you’ll never have more.

Have you been mentored by anyone in your professional field since entering the workforce? 

 I haven’t been specifically mentored by anyone per se, but the internet is full of successful people willing to share their knowledge. That is a resource that should not be taken for granted and should be utilized. For business acumen, Pat Flynn, of the SPI Podcast, has been invaluable.

Spotlight posted in March 2018. For current updates from Lauren, visit her LinkedIn page or website.