Investment & Outcomes

Palm Beach Atlantic University graduate Katelyn Hlavaty

Katelyn Hlavaty '15

Graphic Arts

Describe your current job role:

I am a Graphic Designer/Web Developer for a marketing company north of Tampa, FL. My job is to provide corporate branding and marketing solutions to companies and non-profit organizations. Most of my workload includes creating and managing brands, websites, social media profiles and promotional print materials. 

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

The only experience I had prior to my current job was an internship I held through my college years. I was an intern in a marketing department for a fertilizer company in Lakeland, FL. I worked on-site during the summers and telecommuted during the school year. 

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

The longer I'm in the workforce, the more I realize that time management really is everything, especially in graphic design. As a student, I had a tendency to power through projects in one long, uninterrupted sitting. In the workplace, that just doesn't fly. I handle an average of 20 active projects a week, all of which are vying for my attention. Sometimes you have to set things down and come back to them a day or two later. As a professional, you've got to know how to pace yourself! 

"Throughout the course of my degree, I learned how to brainstorm, how to navigate the design programs and how to take criticism."

How did PBA prepare you for the world of work?

Before I went to PBA, I had zero technical skills in the field of graphic design. I knew it was something I wanted to do, but I had no working knowledge of what it took to do it. Throughout the course of my degree, I learned how to brainstorm, how to navigate the design programs and how to take criticism. Without PBA, I would literally not be able to do my current job.

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

Take everything in stride. It's easy to feel that once you graduate, the hardest part of preparing for a job is over. While you should be proud that you've earned your degree, know that there's still a lot more for you to learn. I've been in my field for two years and I still encounter something new every week. My Creative Director has been in design for 17 years and even he's still improving. Be willing to take criticism, ask questions and adapt. Learning doesn't stop just because you've graduated. 

Spotlight posted in September 2017. 

View Other Rising Sailfish