“In my junior year of high school, I was lucky enough to figure out what I wanted to do, since I was taking dual credit courses. With the help of a guidance counselor at my school, I earned a scholarship to be able to follow Visual Communications as a career at Brookhaven.
“I got a great education — the faculty are knowledgeable, and I learned a lot about interviewing and portfolios. I learned how to create artwork that would be presentable in the business world, and I had a lot of mentors to help me along the way. I would always take my work to them and ask if it would be a good prospect in the real world. I could go to Lauri Collins or Jerry Hill — really the whole faculty — and they would tell me what I could do to improve my work; I guess I’m a perfectionist.
“The best part of the program’s environment is that it’s creative but businesslike. I love what I do, so even though my classwork was challenging and I was learning a lot, I enjoyed it so much that it didn’t seem like work.
“This career is a good fit for me. It’s a good path for people like me who want to express themselves artistically but also want to have a good career opportunity in the business world. I would highly recommend Brookhaven’s program, and I think the whole career field will really grow over the next decade.”
In his job as a graphic designer at Vision Printing in Duncanville, Oscar Vela designs logos, advertisements, printed business cards, letterhead, postcards and mailouts, also helping to design the monthly coupon book for local clients. He earned a Visual Communications certificate from Brookhaven in December 2007 and a Visual Communications associate degree and enhanced skills certificate in May 2008.