YCP@Work: Hannah Potts, Ace Distributing
Hannah Potts graduated from York College in 2021 with a B.A. in Graphic Design. Currently, she works for Ace Distributing as a Senior Sign Shop Associate.
What made you choose to pursue a degree in this field?
Encouraging mentors and a desire to understand all the design in the world. As a high schooler, I always enjoyed art, advertisements, typefaces/fonts, and media. I knew from a young age what I did and didn’t like, and what I thought was and wasn’t good design. My art teacher, who had attended YCP’s Graphic Design (GD) program before deciding to become an art educator, saw my potential and pushed me toward the Graphic Design world. After getting to meet Professor Mel Rodgers and Professor Troy Patterson at an Accepted Student Day, I knew YCP’s GD program was where I belonged.
Once in the program, I thrived. We learned all the rules of the design world and then how to break them or utilize them to work for us. I learned about hundreds of typefaces and even got to create a couple of my own. I was encouraged to “do all the things,” [including] calligraphy and lettering arts, illustration, photography, website design, Morion Graphics (GIFs), and simple video work. It was this encouragement to explore and develop my skills that [proved] to me just how amazing our program is.
How have you used your York College education since graduating?
My education through the YCP GD program has been substantially important to my post-grad life. The professors cover how to set up a foundation for freelance work, which I utilized right after graduating. They teach you how to look for jobs and pick out the real opportunities from the cheap labor. They also inform you of your worth, and make sure you graduate knowing what you deserve, even as a new grad, and to shoot your shot, even if you may not fulfill all the requirements a job posting is asking for. My skills in the Adobe Design Suite, color knowledge and composition, how to critique artwork and receive critiques have been utilized so thoroughly already. And I know, just as I learned in college, there is always room for growth.
What is most challenging about a career in this field?
I think the most challenging thing about the career world is as follows: College provides a lot of variety and challenges in [its] projects, in an effort to teach you as much as possible, [and] to prepare you for any opportunity that will come your way. The working world, however, is limited to the company’s goal and need. I am lucky, though, I work for a company that listens to its employees and desires to see them thrive in their positions. They allow me to utilize my talents in designing custom signage for larger events and important clients. Most recently, I’ve been able to work on custom projects for Hershey Park, the Senators Baseball Stadium, Gettysburg Bike Week, and more!
What do you like best about your career?
What I like most about my job is the ability to explore and learn new things. I know a majority of my co-workers outside of the marketing branch. My workplace is accommodating to my needs and is always looking for ways to progress. Mostly, I enjoy the ability to challenge myself and work on three-dimensional custom jobs. Our industry can’t thrive without productions like mine and my co-workers.
What advice would you have for a student who is just starting out in this major?
A word of advice I would pass on to a new student in this field is—don’t be cocky. You’re not as good as you think you are, and you can only grow if you allow yourself to. Take a step back, learn and absorb as much as you can, and try to make some real friends along the way. This major is a real blast if you keep your mind open to all the potential it carries.