Visual communications program leads to creative careers

Selena Coates discovered the Medicine Hat College (MHC) visual communications program included two work terms, she was sold on her decision to make MHC her first choice for post-secondary education.

Like many of her fellow alumni, Coates knew that having the opportunity to get her foot in the door with employers and gain practical, hands-on experience before graduating was a big advantage. Being able to explore new ways of thinking and experiment with different mediums were also key in preparing her for a career.

“When I started at MHC, I knew I loved to create. During my time as a student, I started to understand the why behind it and learned a visual language to communicate with people. The program had the perfect combination of art, design, and practical applications to set me up for success in a field I’m passionate about,” says Coates, a multimedia developer for ATB in Calgary.

For Samuel Lockhart, highlights of his MHC experience were the incredible facilities that house the visual communications program and the quality instructors who knew their stuff.

“The new digs we had were amazing. Having our own studio space and 24-hour access was also a huge asset. You could really lose yourself in projects which made the program exciting.”

Lockhart was also impressed by the tight knit art community that exists in Medicine Hat.

“You see lots of familiar faces and that's a huge opportunity for students to network at the art galleries and shows,” he explains. A connection with another visual communications graduate led him to his current graphic design position for Federated Co-operatives Limited in Saskatoon.

Making connections with people in the industry, working alongside other creative individuals, and learning about himself defined Braden Spence’s time at MHC.

“[My instructors] taught me the value of hard work, exploration of craft, and how to create value in my work. I learned that I love to learn beyond the classroom, which opened my eyes to the fact that I had chosen the right career path,” says Spence, who spends his spare time researching new techniques to increase his knowledge and skill set. As a graphic designer for the Western Canada Lottery Corporation in Stettler, he has seen nearly 1 million pieces of his work distributed in over 5,000 retailers across the Prairies and Territories in just a few short months.

For all three graduates, the diversity of the program, knowledge of the instructors and opportunity to create valuable connections in the industry are an important part of their successful career starts.

“The visual communications program continues to push the envelope with design and digital programs mixed with traditional fine arts. Many of my instructors have kept up-to-date with where I am now and are invested in my success as much as I am,” says Coates.

“Trust me when I say this little school sets students up for big things.”

Learn more about MHC's visual communications program.