Brockett Horne, chair of the B.F.A. in Graphic Design, believes art school can help students develop a personal vision necessary to create fulfilling, purposeful careers on their own terms. MICA's Strategic Communications staff recently sat down with her to discuss this topic.
Horne described that the Graphic Design curriculum introduces professional concerns from the very first fundamental class through the synthesis of the senior capstone. Select courses such as Flexible Design Studio and Senior Seminar have a particular emphasis on professionalism, but every single course in every class combines theory, concept, and technique into applicable practice.
"Alumni from Graphic Design work in varied areas of practice—from branding studios, product design, agencies and start-up—which is a testament to the strength of the program that graduates have choices. Students learn to balance career preparedness with professional possibilities," she explained. "MICA’s program is full service in that it covers the many ways graphic design is practiced professionally. The required curriculum is comprehensive, but it also allows students to take many electives and work interdisciplinary. Students are prepared for the demands of the discipline but are likewise able to speculate about what the world can look like. "
Horne added, "The myth of the starving artist is over. Our graduates find jobs. Because our student population is from all over the world, graphic design is applied globally and anticipates changing market for the future. Our overall emphasis is to connect a student’s individual voice with a huge market."
She noted that a student might have an entrepreneurial spirit, or they might dream of working for a specific company, and that MICA helps them identify the right context—city, process, organization, mission for their first job, but also the ones that follow that.
"Those are the questions our students are asking, and the questions we want to help them answer," Horne finished.