Chapter 7

Stretching Your Wings

Goals for Advanced Level Freelancers

The Advanced Level is when you're going to begin the transition from student and freelance designer to young professional ready to enter the workforce or graduate school. The bulk of your efforts at the Advanced level will go toward working on jobs that are likely to become portfolio pieces and support your post-college plans. You will also create a print and digital version of your portfolio, write your résumé and cover letter, research the jobs or graduate schools you are going to apply to or for, and create a monthly budget.

It's perfectly normal to feel some anxiety because you will soon be out on your own—without the support of your classmates and teachers. One of the most important things you can do before you graduate and leave school is to network like crazy. Hopefully, you've become involved with some graphic design organizations, taken advantage of design workshops, entered your work into competitions, and taken advantage of many of the opportunities your school provides. If you haven't gotten involved, it's time for you to catch up by making a focused effort to connect with the professionals in your geographic area. Look for opportunities to tour local graphic design agencies, get to know the companies in your area, apply for internships, and join at least one graphic design organization.

The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and the Graphic Artist's Guild (GAG) are two great graphic design ...

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