Marcus Salchert is a senior visual communications major. He is involved in Adelphi on campus, works as a graphic design and marketing intern at Accutrac LLC, and is involved in the E-Sports game club. Read on to hear his thoughts on the importance of profesisonal experience, the reprioritization of the art department and its effects and important insight gained from his time at AU.
Q: How do you balance your schoolwork, internship, and extracirriculars?
A: I have a lot to balance. Senior year is pretty crazy because, first, I’m VP of Adelphi, and I work as an intern at Accutrac. Between senior projects at school and freelance work as well, I’ve got a lot to balance out. I’ve always been a procrastinator, so this year I’ve had a big change in my habits, especially in learning how to be an adult. If it weren’t for my schedule in Google calendar, I think I’d be a bit lost.
Q: What have you gained from working in your current internship experience?
A: I’m entirely grateful for the opportunity to work at Accutrac because I’ve learned so much as a designer and a marketer. I’ve gained insight into the about the business world, and have learned how to business as both an artist and a marketer. Working experience helps on paper, but I can also now convey that I know what it’s like to work in a business environment. I’ve gained the means to show off what I’ve done, as far as design work goes. Showing that you have experience is important, and working experience will separate you from others who have just the degree. Experience is key.
Q: What helped spark your passion for your major and the decision to enter the design field?
A: To be honest, when I came here, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be a visual communications major. I came here with drawing experience, mostly on a whim. After meeting Professor Rudinski at SOAR, he really convinced me and inspired me to reach for my dreams. I told him I didn’t know what I wanted to do and he said, “you’ve got talent, so let’s find it out.” My freshman year is when I learned and became inspired by learning about famous artists throughout history and what they’ve done. After learning about it, I thought, “why can’t I do that?” Not like a Picasso, because I do design work, but still: “why can’t I do that?”
Q: When Professor Rudinski left, how did you feel during that time period?
A: It was honestly really hard. He was a big influence to not only myself, but to others. So were Kathleen Dugan and Tai Lipan. They’re all three huge influnces, as well as Professor McKinney. It was hard to see them go, I can definitely say that. It’s not just my opinion, I’d say. My whole senior class and the class before me felt that change. But we’ve made it through. We take the teachings that they’d given us and progress through. The new profs have done a great job, but the foundation we came from was from Rudinski and his program.
Q: Do you think future design students will miss out on the experience provided by those professors?
A: I definitely think so. Rudinksi had 25 years of experience here at AU. He and professor Lipan, Dugan and McKinney built this program from the ground up. It started with Rudinski. Their experience was well-placed and that’s what inspired me to come here, and the fact that he was so willing to work with you one-on-one was huge for me. That really meant a lot to me, especially while not knowing what I wanted to do with the artistic abilities that I have.
Q: Do you still see hope for the design program to succeed?
A: I think so, definitely! The new professors are definitely well-versed and gifted in their field and at their craft. They do a great job of providing that real-world experience to students, and of conveying what the real world expects. I think that’s really good, especially in a world where we’re changing jobs so often. We have to know the basis of what we’re getting into. I think they do a great job of telling us that. I think there is hope, though. For sure.
Q: What value have you received from your classes at AU aside from knowledge?
A: One thing that has stuck with me through more than just art is the concept of being intentional. The teaching started with art, in that every move you make and every shape that you create, has to be intentional. It has to represent something for the client, and the more thought you put into it, the more they’ll get out of it, and the more they’ll see value in it. I think it applies to more than just artwork. It applies to your relationships, your friendships and anything you do with another person. The more thought you put into it, the more they’ll value you and your friendship with them. For me, I think that intentionality started here at AU.
Q: If you could go back and give advice to yourself as a freshman, what advice would you offer?
A: If I had to go back and talk to my freshman self, who was more introverted and was content with the way he was, I would encourage him to go out and get active on campus. I started getting involved in social clubs and CAB events, and I wish I would have taken the opportunity to do so as soon as possible. I’ve made great friends and amazing connections that I know I’ll have past graduation. If I could encourage myself or any freshman, I’d say go out and get active on campus and in the community. I love doing service projects because it’s great to see what kind of good you can provide, with a group of people you know or even don’t know. Knowing that your effort is helping in big or small ways is a cool thing to do. I’ve learned that from AU, as well as how to be more active in your community. I’m grateful to AU for that, especially.