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Q&A with graphic design grad: How Best Buy became a long-term fit

| Denise Olson

Janel Scott, '03 comprehensive graphic design graduate

Tell us what you are doing now and how you use your degree in Art & Design in that work.

I began working at Best Buy right out of college 2003. I have now been with the company for 14 years and have taken on a few positions within this time frame. When first hired, I started out as a graphic designer on the In-Store Design team. Responsible for store signage, working with business partners and vendors while developing creative and innovative approaches to solutions that enhanced a customer’s shopping experience. I quickly moved up to an Art Director and then Senior Art Director where I led creative direction and served as the single point of contact working with cross-functional partners on core projects, new business, innovation, promotions, events and campaigns to establish overall strategic and tactical creative direction for all Best Buy brands. Leading photoshoots and picking the talent was one of my favorite things to do!

I was on the In-Store Design team for 7+ years before joining the marketing team as a Marketing Lead for Promotional Planning and Strategy and then took another position with in marketing on the Brand Strategy & Planning team. Every position has been a great journey utilizing my talents, knowledge and networking to where I am today. My art and design degree continues to be a foundation of my work.

How would you say your education at UWEC prepared you for the work you now do? My education definitely prepared me for where I am today at Best Buy. From learning what makes good design, to learning and staying on top of design programs and learning to code for web, it all prepared me. I would also say that the coaching and development that went along with getting a Bachelor of Fine Arts were instrumental in the journey of my career as well.

What would you say are some of the strongest aspects of the Art & design program at UWEC?

I was lucky enough to have some amazing professors who took the time to be great teachers and mentors. Our Blugold design group was very close-knit; it was so comforting and nice to have people I could rely on, bounce ideas off and help me network. All of that prepared me for the corporate world.

What would you tell a prospective student thinking about this program? What should they know about the degree and life’s work it can take them to?

If you love to communicate through art and design the program is amazing! It is hard work but well worth it. All the art you develop along the way is a plus as well I still have pottery, drawings and paintings I created at UWEC out in my home. Also, there are so many possibilities with a degree in Art & Design. As you can see from my experience the sky is the limit if you want it to be. I am no longer primarily a “graphic designer” but use my back ground from Art and Design to mold where I want to be. Can’t wait to see where I land next. 

Anything else you’d like to add?

My degree and learnings from UWEC has also allowed for me to continue freelancing design work on the side which I greatly enjoy! Most recently have created wedding invites, as well a logo and all other printed items. I also design everything for our family business including the logo, all business collateral, signage, website, trade show signage as well all marketing design.