In 2014, Darci Stead, 24, was part of the first cohort of the College of New Caledonia’s restructured Web and Graphic Design program.
Though she had no design experience before starting the program, she grew up with computers. The two-year diploma program was a great introduction to the worlds of both web and graphic design for Darci.
"The program was very unique,” she said. “It’s the only one like it here in the north. I recommend it to anyone interested in using their creativity.”
The first year encouraged students to dip their toes into a bit of everything while the second year allowed students to focus their studies on either web or design.
The small class sizes and instructors were another benefit Darci appreciated about CNC’s Web and Graphic Design program.
“The instructors get to know you one-on-one,” she said. “They get to know what you like, what you are good at and what you want to learn. You really get to choose the work you want to do.”
Many of the students in her cohort were traditional art students and gravitated towards the graphic design side of the program. In her second year, however, Darci chose to focus her studies in web design.
Throughout the program, students completed an 80-hour internship. Darci completed her internship with reworking Northern FanCon’s (http://fancon.ca) website, which she continues to manage today.
“I had the creative freedom to do whatever I wanted,” she said.
Since graduating, she found full-time work as the Marketing Coordinator for YMCA of Northern BC. In that position, she’s in charge of maintaining the website as well as other promotional pieces, which require graphic design, such as posters, signage, billboards, advertisements and more.
“I’m a woman of many hats there,” she said. “I really love it. It has expanded my horizons so much.”
In her spare time, Darci also creates websites for independent clients and one day she hopes to run her own business.
“That’s the end goal,” she said. “Right now, I’m dipping my feet in the water and learning the field.”