(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College student Anissa Rodriguez grew up in a household where she and her two sisters were encouraged by their father, who was an artist, to embrace art and flourish in their creative abilities.
“My father pursued an education at an art school years ago, but he didn’t finish because he started our family,” Rodriguez said. “Years later I found myself doing personal projects to improve my craft, such as doing photoshoots or creating flyers for friends or people who are business owners.”
Now Rodriguez is studying for an Associate of Applied Science degree in Digital Media Design at TSTC.
“I receive good feedback from my instructors based on the assignments we complete,” she said. “They will comment things such as ‘Good job what you did here’ or ‘I like how you applied this into your work.’ That inspires me to strive for more.”
Rodriguez said she incorporates her advanced knowledge outside of school.
“I continue to work on side projects such as what I did prior to when I enrolled in TSTC because I want to be marketable,” she said. “For example, I worked on a short documentary for a friend who is a business owner. The end result came out great. These personal projects give me an assurance that I’ll be ready for my career.”
She added that TSTC has enhanced her confidence.
“I’m thankful that I pursued a college degree here because now I’m aware of the choices that are available in this career field,” she said. “That, and I’m grateful to honor my father for the passion that he instilled in me.”
Santiago Villarreal is one of Rodriguez’s instructors at TSTC.
“Anissa has found a way to inject her creativity beyond the parameters of each assessment,” he said. “This type of innovative thinking will serve her well in the industry as she is able to adapt. She demonstrates critical thinking based on feedback and is able to implement a course of action based on a client’s needs.”
According to onetonline.org, graphic designers in Texas can earn a median salary of $50,970 a year. The website projected that there would be a 10% increase in the number of such jobs in the state from 2020 to 2030.
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and multiple certificates of completion in Digital Media Design, all fully online.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.