SU Alumni Association

SHIP Alumni Career Newsletter

May 2013 Edition

May 21, 2013
In This Issue
Employer Perspective: Interviewing Word Choices
Virtual Job Fair-Registration OPEN now
Highlighted Job Postings
Helpful Advice
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Welcome to the May edition of the Alumni Career Newsletter!
Employer Perspective

Interviewing Word Choices. By Jillian Gibboney, graduate intern, Career Development Center

Everyone can list basic job descriptions and emphasize various accomplishments. What employers want to hear is how you present information about yourself and experiences. It is a matter of word choices, including selected information, and overall approach that makes for a successful interview. The words you chose during an interview can help hook the attention of a prospective employer. It is important to use examples about how you took action when you saw an issue that needed to be fixed or how you resolved a conflict with a supervisor. Instead of using phrases such as "team player" or "hard worker" use actual stories. Additionally, phrases such as "highly qualified" and "people person" do not give employers the information they are looking for. Employers want to hear concrete examples and by doing so, it will allow you to highlight the skills they are seeking.  It is impressive when they hear specific experiences rather than a short phrase. Practice using your experiences in place of phrases during interviews. For further questions about interviewing, you may contact University Relations at 717-477-1218 or

Cumberland Valley Consortium (CVC) Virtual Job Fair

This event will run online from June 15 - August 15. Registration for candidates is open NOW! If you register now you will be sent a reminder when the fair goes live. The event is free for alumni job seekers from SHIP and other schools that are members of the consortium. Register for the event at: Contact for additional information.

Highlighted Job Postings

These companies are looking to hire SHIP alumni. You can find out more about these opportunities as well as other opportunities on College Central at you are a Ship alum and looking to hire other Ship alums or students, please contact us to highlight your job and post it on College Central. 

SU Alumni Association




Join Amazon Recruiting Groups on LinkedIn. Amazon is hiring and would like you to join their groups on LinkedIn. You can find them at:

For Jobs in the US:

For Jobs in Europe:



Rock Hog Drilling Products, PA

Personal Requirements: Rock Hog Drilling Products is seeking a highly motivated individual that is a self-starter and can think outside the box. This individual must be able to travel internationally and the ability to communicate in other languages would be helpful, especially Spanish and Portuguese. The initial focus will be on sales in the Western Hemisphere with the goal of establishing a profitable territory and then hiring a local sales person to continue the work under your supervision in that territory. Your focus will be to continue that effort until coverage of the Western Hemisphere is realized. Educational Requirements: A minimum of a B.S. Degree in either Marketing or International Sales. Employment History Requirements  A Minimum of (3) years as Manager of a sales team with a stellar history of accomplishments. International sales will be helpful. To Apply contact Cory Hill:


Corporate Director of Marketing, Greater Harrisburg

We are seeking a passionate Marketing Director with customer-centric focus and demonstrated ability to understand business needs & translating those needs into integrated marketing strategies that drive sales & engagement, new customer acquisition, & improved retention. This position will be responsible for Planning, Organizing, Directing and Controlling the Company's marketing, advertising, and public relations outreach. Experience and Education Requirements: BS or BA in Marketing or Communications; MBA is a plus; Established and proven Marketing, Advertising, Communications, Interpersonal, Writing, Analytical, and Creative Skills; Minimum of 10 years applicable experience, Financial Services industry experience a plus; Management responsibilities in Marketing and Advertising required; Experience with alternative delivery/electronic delivery channels and social media. Please respond in confidence to:

Helpful Advice from a 1996 Art Major Alumnus

Travis Torina '96, graphic designer, Insitu, Inc.

As a proud graduate of Shippensburg University, it's hard for me to believe it has been over fifteen years since I last attended classes at my Alma Mater. I still have funny dreams of not graduating because I missed a final or some obscure credits; even though I know I have my degrees hanging in my office. Though many years have passed since I pulled an all-nighter to draw a still life, the struggles that new graduates or seniors face coming out in the art field is a subject that is very near and dear to my heart. In this day and age with the job market being the way it is there are many obstacles artists such as myself have to overcome. I want to share some of what I have learned in my many years since leaving Ship and hopefully point you in the right direction. One thing very few of us are aware of (and I find this to be true to this day) are the many options and career paths an art student has in front of them. Our field is truly a diverse one, with numerous trajectories that can be used to launch your career. Things have of course changed since I left. There were no UX design positions or social media when I was there, and being a web designer was more of a programmer's position. The print industry was huge then; and though positions in it still exist ,they are not as frequent or plentiful as they once were. So I'd like to concentrate on what I know, what I have done and what I know can most importantly make you live a comfortable life. Getting started in the right specialty (and do not let anyone tell you we are not trained professional specialists) is the key to a solid career with plenty of growth.


The first thing I would suggest is, due to the close proximity to the DC metro area start applying to the Federal Government. The work is steady, the work-life balance is outstanding and once in, the potential for growth is expediential. I contracted for years at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, won numerous awards for my work and found the environment to be ideal for someone starting out. I happened to get there at a later stage in my career but saw the potential for someone starting from the ground up. The government agencies need it all: Graphic Designers, Web Designers, UX Design. If you can achieve a DOD clearance (Department of Defense) your choices and pay are unlimited, especially for aspiring Technical Illustrators or Production Artists. I'd like to explore below each of the career paths I have done, and what it takes to be successful and qualify for these positions.


Graphic Designer or Production Artist: There is actually little difference in the skill set you need to do these positions. Both have Pros and Cons, so it depends on what you are looking for or want. Both need to know the Adobe Creative Suite, have a keen eye for aesthetic design and have print as well as web knowledge.  Graphic Design is for the most part more creative, requires you  to sometimes  have illustration skills (especially if doing Flash or logo design) or at the very least helps set you apart if you are an illustrator. However it is very competitive and the pay is lower.  Production Art takes knowing the Creative Suite inside and out, and understanding print very well.  However you won't draw, you will rarely be asked to design or even be creative, but the positions are more numerous and the pay is outstanding.  It's a compromise and you have to ask yourself what you are looking for. I would often freelance design for my creative outlet while being a Production Artist and was quite happy. Both can eventually lead to positions as an Art Director, which though is less art and more managing, is a great path to aspire to. Plus you get a lot more perks and pay as an Art Director!


Technical Illustrator or Creative Illustrator: Without even knowing it, my first permanent job in my field was a Technical Illustrator drawing maps, weather bands and patterns at Accu Weather in State College. I also graduated from Penn State, so I already had many connections up there. Technical Illustration can go from schematics to maps, part manuals and procedures to housing floor plans. The pros are the most lucrative paying positions as an artist are drawing technical manuals and parts. I have done this for years and it is also my current job. It's mostly military funded so it pays really well. The cons are the work is tedious, not creative and can be boring. But you only draw all day, that's it. As an Illustrator by heart it's a dream, especially because it is such a specialty your skill set is always in demand. You have to be an expert in Adobe Illustrator, Arbortext IsoDraw or AutoCAD. A class or two in any of these will help a ton. I taught myself the later software in two weeks. You also need to understand Isometric and Orthographic planes and perspective. If you know Illustrator, picking them up is easy as they operate on the same principals of vectors and Bezier points. Knowing how to convert and retrieve 3-D models in Solid Works is also a plus, but easy enough to learn in hours. I cannot stress enough how lacking the field is for this skill, thus making you truly in demand. As for being a creative illustrator, the work is out there but the competition is fierce, and so many people are really good at it. Once you get in and get a steady stream of clients you are golden, but it can be a struggle for years. There are many people that need this work: the comic book industry in NYC, freelancing and flash design offer opportunities for those starting out looking to build your portfolio. There is also the fashion industry, which asks for a combination of technical illustration knowledge and creative savvy. One can make a nice long career out of drawing, but you have to know how and where to look. Having a top notch online portfolio is crucial. You won't even get a phone interview without one (this goes for Graphic Design also). You can build an easy one at Weebly for free, or as a Shippensburg alum with College Central Network for free also. If you have the web design chops, it's a great opportunity to show off your skills by building your own site.


Teaching Drawing, Design or Art: This was one of my first positions, teaching drawing to kids at an after school program. It only required patience and the ability to keep your students captivated. I have taught since then here and there, and if you like to share your knowledge it is a great career path. Of course if you want a permanent teaching position that now requires a Master's Degree. I started mine but after a year decided teaching was not for me full time, just from time to time. The opportunities are out there, and these jobs are in demand. Many places will hire you while you are working on your Masters part-time, so when you graduate they have a position for you. The pay is lower but the growth and stability are the best in the art field. The hours are very conducive to work life balance, lots of great benefits and time off. And you get to make a difference in people's lives. So it's something to seriously consider if you are a die-hard traditional artist to the core.


I really hope this was helpful. When I was in school I felt as though many people wanted to help me out, but no one could really point me in the right direction or tell me what perspective employees were looking for out there. I also did not realize just how many different avenues my skill set could take me. I am always willing to help out, give advice and critique portfolios or resumes to give you maximum return in your search for jobs. The market is tough right now but you can get and stay employed with the right art career and be successful!

Need Career Assistance?

Summer is coming. Don't allow yourself to get into the summer slump with job searching. If you are looking for a job or want to revamp your resume, please contact Lorie Davis at  for free career assistance.

University Relations
Shippensburg University Alumni Association
717-477-4071 (Fax)