Katherine Buchanan (M.F.A., fibers, 2009) is a textile designer by day and fiber artist by night. Katherine is celebrating her new role as a designer at Couristan, an international carpet company. Katherine credits the recently launched SCAD Atlanta Alumni Career Club, of which she is the inaugural leader, with enabling her to successfully market her capabilities and accomplishments to her new employer through strengthening her own self-marketing skills.
Alumni in Atlanta, Savannah, and online have formed career clubs to support each other in the speedier acquisition of career-oriented roles for SCAD alumni who are unemployed or underemployed in their fields. Through the group meetings, members build their interviewing, networking and other skills important to conducting a successful job search. Members also share contacts, brainstorm solutions for challenges encountered in their career search or progression and share opportunities that come to their attention with other club members.
Katherine’s role as volunteer leader of the club played an important part in demonstrating her leadership skills during the interview for the designer role at Couristan. Katherine commented that discussions such as how to create an “elevator speech’ and “the hidden job market” were important contributors to her success and others in the club. Katherine further stated, “I would recommend that all alumni who are navigating today’s challenging job market check out the SCAD alumni career clubs.” She recommends that if a graduate decides to become a member, that they “be an active member”. Group members who attend meetings and take part in online forums on LinkedIn leverage networking to increase exposure to potential employers.
Katherine has been successfully working as a designer since finishing her course of study at SCAD four years ago. Her advice to alumni searching for their first or next career opportunity is,“Realize the best career move can be challenging. I have secured both of my design roles by utilizing tools that SCAD’s office of career services provides to students and alumni. SCAD set up the resources, so make the connection and move your career forward. Having a little help makes it much easier to find what you are looking for! I could not be happier with the support that I have had from SCAD after graduating. I have a design job that I love and what could be better that that?”
If you would like to see what Katherine is up to, visit her website http://www.kdbdesigns.info/.