Selena Coates, visual communications alumni Meet Selena Coates
Multimedia Developer - ATB Financial
MHC visual communications graduate


Q: Why did you choose MHC's visual communications program?

There are a number of schools that offer similar programs across North America but I wanted a smaller school that wasn’t a plane ride away. When I found out MHC offered the degree program with two work terms attached I was sold. The program here had the perfect combination of art, design, and practical applications to set me up for success in a field I’m passionate about. I also was accepted at two other schools offering the program in Alberta, but felt this was the right option for me!

Q: What were some of the highlights of the program?

For many schools, taking a painting class and exploring virtual and augmented reality in the same semester would be unheard of. That’s what I love about this program - every student comes out with a unique skill set that matches their passion. Faculty not only knew me by name but had a relationship with me. Many have kept up to date with where I am now and are invested in my success as much as I am!

Q: What did you learn about yourself while attending MHC?

When I started school at MHC I knew I loved to create. During my time in the program I started to understand the why behind it. Through the facilitated classes and the independent work I could define that for me creating was a way of connection. I learned a visual language to communicate with other people. I was also able to experiment with mediums and ideas to unearth different ways of working while learning what I love to do most.



Q: How did the program prepare you for your design career at ATB?

Aside from the technical skills, my time at MHC taught me how to think and work effectively. I gained the ability to think out of the box and create ideas that people can relate to. Throughout the program I was being set up for success by instructors that gave constructive feedback in areas from design to painting to business. I was given opportunity to improve my portfolio daily and I was never short on advice from peers or faculty members. All of this and the drive to learn, grow and share opened doors I could never have expected.

Q: Why would you recommend MHC to others?

MHC gave me opportunity to explore mediums I would have never thought of. The visual communications program continues to push the envelope with there design and digital programs with a mix of the traditional fine arts to top it off. Trust me when I say this little school sets students up for big things!

Meet Samuel Lockhart
Graphic Designer - Federated Co-operatives Limited
MHC visual communications graduate


Q: Why did you choose MHC's visual communications program?

I took a couple years off after high school and worked for a trade in Red Deer. On one cold day, I decided I was never going to work a trade for my whole life and started looking into schools. I was always kind of artistic but had never really thought of making it a career. After seeing what colleges and art schools offered, I chose MHC and the visual communications program. It was the most intriguing to me.

Q: What were some of the highlights of the program?

I was really lucky because when I started the program, the new building was only two years old. The new digs we had - having our own studio space and 24 hour access - was a huge asset. You could really lose yourself in projects and it made the program exciting. From drawing to painting to web design to animation, you could pretty much do anything you wanted to for projects. It was really cool. The teachers know their stuff because they've worked in the field for years and know what trends are right now. They give feedback to make your work better and better. After three years, you have definitely developed your skills.

Q: How did the program prepare you for your career?

I knew what I wanted to be a designer who develops concepts and sees them through the different stages to completion. Having the work terms is a huge thing. They really set you up for success coming out of the program. I wouldn't be here at Co-op without that experience.

Q: Why would you recommend MHC to others?

Our facility is amazing. We have amazing teachers. It's a tight little knit community, especially with the local art community and all of the studios downtown. You see lots of familiar faces and that's a huge opportunity for students to network at the art galleries and art shows. I think our program is one of the strongest in Alberta. I would go back in a heartbeat to take more classes.

Meet Braden Spence
Graphic Designer - Western Canada Lottery Corporation
MHC visual communications graduate


Q: Why did you choose MHC's visual communications program?

I chose MHC because I knew the co-op work term program was a major part of landing a job once I was finished. It was also a key way to create connections with people already in the field. I liked the fact that it was a three year applied degree program because it allowed me to get working field sooner.

Q: What were some of the highlights of the program?

The highlight of the program for me was learning to work alongside other creative individuals and collaborate on projects. Instructor James Kuehn and Ian Richmond made a huge difference in my outcome. They taught me the value of hard work, exploration of craft, and how to create value in my work.

Q: How did the program prepare you for your career?

The program taught me the technical skills to create anything from billboards to digital motion advertisements, as well as the proper ways to share my work and use different digital platforms correctly. My job with Western Canada Lottery Corporation has been an eye opener for me. As one of Canada’s largest companies with 45 years of experience, I never thought I would have as much impact as I do now. In the five short months that I have been working here, just under 1 million pieces of my work are in over 5,000 retailers across the Prairie provinces and territories, which is something I never imagined would happen.

Q: Why would you recommend MHC to others?

I would definitely recommend MHC to anyone looking to create long lasting relationships, network connections and set themselves up for life.