Name: Katie Pearson
Degree: Strategic Communication & Graphic Design
Year of graduation: 2014
Company: National Geographic
Katie Pearson, National Geographic Graphic Designer, knows the path to success does not always have to be traditional.
“I knew I wanted to go into a creative industry, but I wasn’t entirely sure what that was,” Katie said.
With a visionary mind and an eager attitude to immerse herself into the world of digital media, Katie toured the School of Media & Strategic Communications at Oklahoma State University. “Besides falling in love with the campus, OSU drew me to the fact that they had a PR program with a focus on creative advertising,” Katie said.
During her time at OSU, Katie was involved in Greek life and worked for the O’Colly. She also worked at Edmon Low Library as a graphic designer and participated in the National Student Advertising Competition.
Of all the memories made at OSU, her favorite times were spent working late for the O’Colly and building relationships that she’d keep long after graduation.
Fresh out of college, Katie was eager to contact professionals within the graphic design industry. In the midst of applying for almost 100 different positions relating to design and advertising, Katie made a breakthrough.
“I found an art director who worked at USA Today and told her I was looking for a job and asked if she could critique my portfolio,” Katie said.
After making recommended adjustments to her portfolio, Katie was surprised to receive a call back from the art director with a job offer. After freelancing for USA Today for a year and a half, Katie felt it was time to move on.
With a more particular job-searching agenda, Katie applied to numerous job listings, eventually landing a position as a graphic designer at National Geographic. On a normal workday, Katie constructs graphics for a plethora of digital platforms such as Facebook and Hulu.
“I love the mission of the company, so it helps me stay focused when I am doing something mundane,” Katie said.
She hopes to advance in her field and to contribute to the company.
With over three years of postgraduate professional experience under her belt, Katie feels that her majors provided a well-rounded background that prepared her for the real world. Katie urges students to embrace the possibility of an unconventional path. Now living in Arlington, Virginia, Katie is pursuing her master’s in integrated marketing communications.