Alumni Profile: Graphic designer sees a bright future

December 10, 2023 WCC Public Relations

Photo of Liz DeRensis

 

Her Washtenaw Community College instructors called her an ideal student – positive, hardworking, focused and exceptionally open to feedback.

That’s why it was no surprise when Liz DeRensis, armed with an Graphic Design and Technologies associate degree from WCC, landed a job as the graphic designer for SEE Eyewear.

DeRensis, who transferred to WCC from a two-year college in New Jersey in 2019, said she clicked immediately with her new college home.

“It was a great experience,” she says, thinking back to her first meetings with graphic design faculty member Ingrid Ankerson. “She was so caring and wanted all her students to succeed,” DeRensis says, adding that the faculty at WCC is one of its greatest strengths.

AFFORDABLE

DeRensis knew exactly what she was looking for when she chose to enroll at WCC.

“I wanted a program that was not only not going to cost me $100,000, but was specialized and would help me get a job,” she says. That’s exactly what happened.

DeRensis graduated from WCC in May 2020 and has been working for SEE Eyewear since 2021.

She is the Creative Content Specialist, which means she has a wide variety of roles in her day-to-day work. She designs all marketing materials, such as in-store signage, email campaigns, digital advertisements and more; writes marketing copy, including monthly e-commerce product descriptions; and runs the company’s social media platforms. And that’s just scraping the surface.

“It’s a wide range of responsibilities,” DeRensis says, adding that she also has the opportunity to develop her design capabilities and learn more about marketing. “I love my job. As a designer, to see your work in stores across the country is really rewarding.”

Not a day goes by that DeRensis doesn’t use skills learned in her WCC classes. But there’s another reason she lauds her WCC education – it didn’t cost her a fortune.

EASY TRANSFER

“It was scary to transfer,” DeRensis says of her move from New Jersey, but as she considered transferring to a university or WCC, the price tag won her over. “WCC accepted all of my credits, so I just had to take my design classes when I came.”

It took her only a year and a half to finish. 

“I’m really glad I picked WCC because having come from another community college, I recognized that smaller school atmosphere,” she says. “I came, and the chair of the department personally welcomed me. That’s worth a lot to me.”

DeRensis is just getting her feet wet. “I’m getting a lot of great experience, and someday I’d love to head up a department or serve as an art director. I would feel confident going into that,” she says. 

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This story appears in the Winter 2024 edition of Launch magazine. See complete issue.

Tags: 2023, Alumni Profile, Graphic Design, Launch winter 2024