learn the lingo
Something that has become rather evident to me not only just at my internship this Spring, but also around campus at Temple my senior year is that it is absolutely necessary that you learn the lingo and commonly used terms in your field. I am personally an Art Direction major, which I’m sure means I have been exposed to a slew of terms that an Account Manager is unfamiliar with, and visa versa. These terms and concepts are catered per-field, and though it is not a bad idea to familiarize yourself with as much as possible, you certainly need to get the ones that constantly apply to you down-pact. For instance, if you are a senior Art Direction major you should know what Adobe Illustrator is. Unfortunately though, this is not always the case. I feel like a major problem now is that students feel timid when asking questions. If material is presented in a classroom and you don’t understand it, then you need to ask. If someone uses a term loosely in conversation and you don’t understand it, a red flag should go up. You may not need to cease the conversation right then and there, or interrupt a lecture.. but it does make sense to jot the term down and Google it later, ask a friend, etc. You should become as familiar as possible with everything concerning your line of work. If you don’t put an effort into learning, this is only going to hurt you in the long run. What if at your internship, (or, as time is creeping by and May is approaching), your full time job asks you to save a PDF file, or a TIFF and you don’t know what that means (these are clearly very elementary examples)? Or what if they tell you the ascenders on the type you chose detracted from the design and you don’t know what that means? You need to ask. Forget being embarrassed or scared. You’ll be more embarrassed when work is not saved properly and you get called out, and then rather scared when your skill-set is questioned and you may be looking for a new employer. Overall it is just important in general to be passionate about what you’re doing. I feel like this applies especially to students. We will have the upper hand amongst our competitors if we are more familiar with the industry. If at an interview an employer asks how familiar you are with let’s say.. DreamWeaver, even if you are not very familiar with the program but know some things saying, “I don’t have a lot of personal experience, but I’ve seen the platform being used before and have some basic knowledge,” sounds better than, “what’s that?” You can’t be expected to be an expert at everything, especially as a recent graduate. However, testing the waters can never be detrimental to your success. If you don’t care about the new forum, new imaging format, or sharing method..why should anyone else? Does anyone else agree? In order to succeed in this day and age you need to not only care and be proactive, but also engage others. If you don’t keep up with the pack, you’ll only fall behind.
This link, for example, reviews different image file types and their uses.