Fall 2015 Reflections

I think it’s about time I submitted something to this blog. Here are my reflections for the Fall 2015 semester! All comments appreciated 🙂

Project Management 

Out of the many projects that I take on for this Fall semester, the one that took lots of planning was the Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program website. This was a major project from a grant that gave opportunity to underrepresented students in the sciences to make transitions at a critical stage in there development as scientists. The program is a partnership between City Tech and Brooklyn College whereby students would complete their Associate Degree (LAS, LAA, or unclassified health) at City Tech and finish there Bachelor’s degree at Brooklyn College.

The project was lead by Profs. Liana Tsenova and Pa Her, who I have had to opportunity to know and work with a little before. I’ve also had the privilege to work with a previous Faculty Commons designer and good friend of mine, Jonathan Campoverde. This ism’t the first time we have collaborated on a project, so the work ethic and planning for the project was quite easy. We were both provided with a time table and certain checkpoints for website and print materials to be delivered. With careful planning by both myself and Jonathan, we were able to stay on track with the project. With constant communicated between everyone, it was very easy to manage and work.

One main thing I took away from this project is that communication plays a key role in anything you do in life. With clear and concise communication, anyone can be on track to successfully complete or do anything when working in a team.

Design Skills/Techniques

Since I try to learn and practice as much as can and learn from others, I’ve developed some pretty good skills at design even though it’s not my area of focus. Being surrounded by the talented individuals that I work with, you can help but try something new all the time.

One particular challenge I had was doing an invitation for the Hospitality Management Department. I had laid out everything I knew that my client, Prof. Dias, had wanted and started playing with the layout, colors, fonts, etc. I got to a pretty good point in the design until I seemed further assistance by a fellow Design team member, Mandy Mei. Mandy has a good eye for design and her help to finalize the invitation was vital because it made the design even better and easier on the eyes than before. I am always grateful for the help I receive by my fellow Design team members.

Since I spend a lot of time on the web always trying to find the next best thing, I’m always running into new and great softwares to aid myself or anyone on the Design team. I always share what I find and give good reasons as to why someone might want to use that particular program.

For instance, I’ve known about a great program called Sketch. It’s being used in the industry by top UI/UX designers. The simplicity of the program and easy learning curve makes it wonderful to use. I’ve since shared this everyone but Mandy has taken it and learned a majority of what the program can do and offers designers. She has used it to design the new web app currently being planned for the Liberal Arts Program at City Tech.

Work Relationships

I’ve been at Faculty Commons for a while now and have had the opportunity to work with several designers over the year. I have to say that the team is like a second family! It’s always a joy to be around each of them and converse on the various things we like whether it’s different or similar. We have a diverse group and that’s always great. You get to learn a lot from everyone and also get inspired. I am very open with everyone and always there to help in any way I can. I think that is a great way to build great working relationships! I am like this with everyone I work with whether it be clients, coworkers in the office, design team or even other offices in the college. Being able to communicate about the things that are needed to benefit the college and even personal things is a great way for my working relationships to grow. I’ve had to opportunity over the years to work with a lot of people in the college and I’m always very delighted to hear how I’ve helped them, even if it is with the simplest of things, as I know it might’ve been simple to me but difficult on their part.

It brings me joy knowing I could help someone in any way possible. That is why I push myself to learn more as you can never progress if you don’t try and fail and try again or try and succeed!

Loubna’s FC Reflection

Project Management 

I started working with the WAC (Writing Across the Curriculum) fellows. They had a serious of workshops that ran through out the semester. I designed a postcard that announced the dates of all 4 workshops of the semester. For each workshop, I had to design a poster. They all included the same connecting theme/ design, with different graphics for each workshop. During the same time, I designed a poster for the Living Lab symposium for their 5th year anniversary. I recently began working on a big project that I’m excited about, which is the Literary Arts Festival event. It includes a series of designs that vary from postcards, posters, bookmarks, thank you cards, t-shirt designs and more. I was able to complete the postcard design and work on recruiting students and performers for the writing competition and festival. I also worked on the New Faculty invitation cards for their orientation and following that, I will be revising the seminar program for the 2016 year. I’m always looking forward new and exciting projects.

2. Design Skills/Techniques 

InDesign is one of the most important aspects of my design techniques. After laying out and brainstorming different words and designs on paper, I like to “sketch” on Indesign and start working. I like to try many different ideas at once and a big part of my design process is research.

I use other programs as well like photoshop for images and effects, and illustrator for logos. That being said, InDesign is where I’m most skilled at and can use different tricks to get my idea executed properly.

3. Work Relationships 
Explain how you communicate and build relationships with the following:
A. Design Team
Having a design team is very important and very supportive. I design for other programs around campus, but at Faculty Commons, my work turns out as a better result because I have people around me who are in the field and who give helpful feedback by telling me what works and what doesn’t work. Mandy is always around to help with my designs. I call her my Art Director. Kevin, who is a technology and web master is also around if I’m having any sort of technical difficulties. Other members in the design team like Marlon, Mayan, Dorian, Raciel, William, and Mathew help with both the design and editing in case there are any grammatical errors or misspellings.
B. Clients
I worked with Professor Devers for the WAC poster designs and was always in contact with Jacob, who was one of the WAC fellows. For the Living Lab Symposium, I worked with Professors Westengard and Mathews to create the Microbes to Stars, 5th year celebration poster.
I am currently working for with Professor Ostrom, and Professor Sears for the Literary Arts Festival. I have to say that I am extremely excited to continue working with them on this project. It is an important event that needs proper promotion, and I’m excited to be the one designing for them this year.

End of Semester Reflection (Fall 2015)

1. Project Management

This semester I was working on the Scholars Exchange series and I was tasked with coming up with a new design for this series of talks. I met with my client where we decided in which direction the design would go, then a date was set for me to submit the new design for approval which was the 22 of September. After the design was approved there were several posters to be created for Tuesday morning talks, and those poster had to be ready at least one week before the talks. There was not a set date for me to receive content, because my client could only get the content to me after she got them from the speakers, and those times varied. Nevertheless, my client and I were able to get everything done on time.

2. Design Skills/Techniques

A challenge that I faced this semester was the Gen Ed redesign. I was tasked to create a new and fun way to present the Gen Ed flexible core classes. I settled on the idea that I would create symbols to represent the categories and it was working great until I got the category of ‘U.S. Experience in its Diversity’. I could find an image to represent it, I was completely stumped, but thanks to the help of my the design team and a great deal of internet searches I came up with a solution.

3. Work Relationships

I have been a part of the Faculty Commons design team for a while now so I have had a chance to establish a relationship with most of the people in the office. Being a part of design team is a blast; we have a lot of fun. Sometimes a little too much fun and prof. J has to come let us know when we’re being too loud. I Think the way we build relationships on the design team is by eating, out lunches together are always a nice part my day.

The way I communicate with my clients is mostly through email, except for Ms. Burke who I get to have numerous face to face meetings with because of our close working proximity.

The case the is the same for my coworkers. I’m I get to work in an office with all these wonderful people, especially at the end of the semester when they bring all the food for the holiday parties.


1.  Project Management 
While working with Professors Chang and Giraldo to create the branding for the At Home exhibition branding (poster, invitation, brochure, name tags), we had to schedule when the posters would go up. The announcement poster, the event poster and the year long poster. We continuously went back and forth getting each projects done to make it all come together. It was amazing to see it all look cohesive and well put together it all came out.
2. Design Skills/Techniques 
I have develop my skills in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, all while trying new things while making the project I have work on throughout the semester. I definitely enjoyed working with photography this semester by taking photos for events at clients. It gave me a chance to practice on something I enjoy I am not currently doing in my classes. During the break, I would like to know more knowledge on photography, as one of my many goals to complete next year.
3. Work Relationships 
Working with the team has been great throughout this semester. I know that keeping the communication with your clients is vital to your entire experience to making a project come together.I definitely found that I have development my communication skills with my client and learning to work with them to have a better relationship with them to get projects done. As an example, working with Lauri in First Year Programs, which went at a pace that was comfortable for both of us. To finish projects, we understood that we both have other projects that we are working on as well and still being able to make it work for both of us.

Fall 2015 Reflection

1.  Project Management 
I believe the best example to use to describe my experience with project management is the Honors Scholars Poster Presentation Brochure I worked on. Before meeting with the client, Prof. Liou-Mark, I created some concept designs to use on the cover. From the meeting the client and I established a timeline for this project. The timeline began with receiving the content on November 18. On November 20 all the content would be inputted and proofread. On November 23 revisions would be made with final proofread. November 24 the files would be sent down to the repo center. After our initial meeting a concept was decided on and then I created a couple different color variations on the chosen design. Once a color palette was chosen I began to send sample pages of the brochure using hierarchy.
2. Design Skills/Techniques 

The biggest challenge I faced, was incorporating the content for the Honors Scholars Brochure. It was crucial to have the document set up in a multiple of four pages because of the printing process. Thankfully Mandy was able to help me space out the content in the most effective manner.

3. Work Relationships 
Explain how you communicate and build relationships with the following:
A. Design Team
Since it is my first semester working on the Faculty Commons Design Team I had the role of getting to know everyone. I soon figured out my work relationships with the team. I would email or converse with Maen or Kevin about anything pertaining to the web, such as saving the files as the proper extension or sending the files to be put on the website. I would seek guidance and mentoring from Mandy and Raciel concerning design jobs. I would also seek help from the rest of the team with spelling and grammatical errors.
B. Clients
Being an intern on the Faculty Commons Design Team was the first time I’ve had to develop professional client relationships. I was able to learn the proper ways of contacting and communicating with clients during my training in the summer. I had the opportunity to work with the Library and the Honors Scholars Program this semester. I designed several posters for the library and created a brochure for the Honors Scholars Program. I would create a concept and then present it to the client. Once a concept was chosen I would create a draft and email a copy to the client. If there was any revisions that needed to be made I would send the file back to the client with the revisions before sending it down to print.
C. Coworkers in other FC offices (Grants office, AIR, etc.)
I haven’t had the chance to work alongside other coworkers in the other FC Offices. Although I try to help whenever I can when it comes to setting up the office for meetings and other events.

Fall 2015: Reflection

1.  Project Management 
Besides a few mini projects, I mainly worked with Dr. Julian Williams (program director of the Liberal Arts and Sciences) to design a brand identity for the program’s students. We had an initial meeting to discuss this brand new project that has never been done before. Then, I established the deliverables of the project, made drafts, and did numerous edits to perfect the content and user experience. Now it is being presented to student leaders, at the Honors Scholars Poster Presentation, and to the GenEd committee. This project is in its beginning stages and will continue on to the next semester (Spring 2016).
Because I had to manage many elements/parts and different disciplines in this project, I believe that it improved my project management skills.
2. Design Skills/Techniques 
A. When I started designing mock ups for the web application, I was planning to use Adobe Illustrator, which was very difficult and was not designed for that purpose. Kevin (FC webmaster) advised me on using the program Sketch. I learned the ins and outs of Sketch in no time, and it has made web design much more easier. This program is definitely something I could take away with me when I graduate and work in the industry.
B. I’ve learned Sketch this semester and I am putting it to use in my projects for portfolio class. Also I practiced making presentations, and used the same template to present my other classes’ projects.
3. Work Relationships 
Explain how you communicate and build relationships with the following:
A. Design Team
The design team is here to always support each other. When William needed to put the Honors Scholars Poster Presentation brochure to print, the team (me, Kevin and Professor Jordan) helped to proofread, edit and properly export files for print. As we go through the process, we constantly communicate via text message/email to make sure everyone involved is in the loop and know what’s going on. I am sure if I ever need a favor, any team member would not hesitate to assist me.
B. Clients
Professor Williams and I worked closely together for the Liberal Arts branding project to happen, whether it’s via text, email or in-person. I just made buttons with the logo on it, and decided to surprise him by putting it in his mailbox without telling him what it is. It never hurts to give your clients a little surprise now and then, or say thank you when you appreciate something they’ve done for you.
C. Coworkers in other FC offices (Grants office, AIR, etc.)
Ms. Burke needed something designed the same day for the Holiday Breakfast recently and it was time sensitive. She reached out and I put my current work aside and quickly made some designs to send to print. Whenever possible, I try to help the other offices with technical/design work.