Alison (Aycrigg) Entsminger and Mallory Frye’s secret to success can described in three p’s: passion, patience and perseverance.
“Alison and I are unique in that we both applied to the graphic design program and got denied our first year, so we had to stay in the College of the Arts for five years,” Frye said. “That has a lot to do with our story, too, because we had to stay self motivated.”
Entsminger (BFA Graphic Design '15) and Frye (BFA Graphic Design '15) banded together as juniors and reapplied to the graphic design program and, this time, were accepted. Frye said that working to get into the graphic design program was like having a part-time job. She said that they would meet up after completing their classes and work on side projects for the graphic design program.
“I feel like I grew the most during that time when I felt I had to prove myself,” Frye said. “That prepared me for how intense the program was.”
Entsminger and Frye, who both work at IBM as user experience designers, offered portfolio critiques to current art students. They also hosted an IBM sponsored workshop on January 21. During the workshop, students solved real-life design issues and were given a preview of what it would be like to work at IBM.
“Alison and I both started at IBM at the same time and there was another UF alumnus that started a few months before us,” Frye said. “I think because of this it made IBM design realize that there’s some pretty good talent coming out of UF, and they want to keep this relationship going.”
Victoria Gerson, a 3rd year graphic design student, wanted to get her portfolio reviewed because she felt like it would lead to much needed improvement to her portfolio.
“It always helps to be able to talk about your work,” Gerson said. “I was testing out how my work looked through the eyes of a user and it’s a good way to always improve.”
Gerson also said that she was looking forward to the IBM workshop because she was hoping to learn more about working at IBM.
Gerson said while everyone knows what IBM is, she would know after the workshop if it would be somewhere she would want to work.
“We can relate to them because they were in our seats a couple years ago,” she said. “It gives that confidence that they were where you were.”