An aspiring art school student with a passion for traditional mediums and a background in photography, Lucinda Strol wanted to pursue a traditional track in art education at a well-known art school. But by the time college application due dates rolled around Strol realized that she was drawn to the academic freedom, beautiful campus and programs offered by Syracuse University. Wanting to learn more about digital art and design applications, she enrolled in the Newhouse school’s graphic design program. She continued to follow her curiosities and after one introductory class at the School of Information Studies, Strol decided to take on the additional challenge of a second major in Information Management and Technology.
Compared to when she entered college, with very little practical experience in the software and digital aspects of design, now in her final semester Strol is proficient in nearly every Adobe program and can code in three languages. “I have an understanding of how technology impacts our everyday lives and how important good design is when approaching technology,” she says. Though challenging, the combination of curriculums required by her double major is reaping rewards for Strol.
Adding the iSchool curriculum and culture to her graphic design courses has worked out better than expected. She had hoped to pick up some additional marketable skills to pad her graphic design resume, and admits that at the time, she didn’t understand the extent to which learning about technology could change her approach to her creative process. Strol explains that, “Learning about digital strategy and analytics, human-centered design, and HTML/CSS web development have all provided me with new considerations when approaching design. Alternatively, my design background has allowed me to excel in finding creative solutions to problems within my management and technical courses at the iSchool.”
Strol has had a few interesting work/internship opportunities. Notably, she began at Syracuse University’s student-led publication, Jerk Magazine, as a digital illustrator during her freshman year. Since then she has been given additional responsibilities as Digital Design Director, and now serves as one of the Creative Directors. She has been integral to the evolution and growth of the publication and has enjoyed being a part of the creative team.
Another opportunity came last summer when Strol was selected for a highly competitive internship with Tapestry, the parent company of many well known fashion and lifestyle brands. Her combined background in design and technology helped her secure the role as IT Portfolio Management & Communications Intern, in which she designed and created communication material for the IT department. Because of her exemplary performance, Strol accepted a part-time position with the company as she went back for her final semesters of school.
Strol is also serving as Student Design Coordinator for a Title IX reporting project across the Newhouse School. “This project will hopefully help shape my career in UI/UX design which is currently the design field I am looking to pursue. Another part of this project which I am very passionate about is that I will be helping to tell an important story,” she states. All the while she also works for the Maxwell school as a digital publisher and is pleased that the work of producing pamphlets, brochures, and flyers has given her useful experience with designing new and fresh material within the limitations of a rigid branding system.
Despite diverging from the traditional art education she originally considered her calling, Strol has gained new appreciation for the endless capabilities and advantages available through technology. She hadn’t fully realized the creative potential that technology could unleash until she was immersed in the combination of programs at the university. She appreciates the dynamic and adaptive curriculum of the iSchool, and how each class ties into real-world applications. Now she looks forward to navigating the design and technology industries abroad.
With her eyes on professional settings in a different time-zone, Strol plans to move to London after graduating this spring. Her mother being from London has opened up the world to Strol and she grew up visiting the city almost every year. With the advantage of UK citizenship, she wants to land a role in London’s booming web design industry that combines her passions for fine arts and traditional practices, with her education and love for working with technology. She notes that, “the iSchool is very career-based and almost all of the classes focus heavily on collaboration and presentation. Through these countless opportunities, I feel more knowledgeable and confident in my ability to navigate a professional setting.”