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“Everything I learned at the VAC I use every day”

Sam Hogan didn’t know much about photography let alone Photoshop or Illustrator after graduating from Suffolk’s King’s Fork High. 

Earning her associate at Tidewater Community College’s Visual Arts Center allowed her to graduate with proficiency in many skills, which led to an internship that is now a full-time job in graphic design.

“TCC was a great decision on my part,” said Hogan, who received her Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design in 2015 after summer classes. “I learned a ton. Now I’m almost expert level at Photoshop and Illustrator and InDesign. Everything I learned at the VAC I use every day.”

Hogan is a production artist at Ivie & Associates, a full-service marketing and solutions company that works with many of the top retail organizations in the world. She works primarily with the company’s Farm Fresh account, which allows her to design a magazine cover to cover in addition to creating circulars and additional marketing materials.

After high school, Hogan worked multiple jobs while attending college—among the benefits, she said, of attending a community college with the flexible class scheduling. Taking four of her classes online and two hybrid classes also helped. She has no student debt and is considering going for a second associate at the VAC to in multimedia to hone her digital design skills.

“They have a lot of great resources at the VAC, so use them if you can,” she said. “If I needed to finish a project, a lot of times it was easier to just stay and finish the project.”

At the VAC, she assembled a versatile portfolio of typography, mixed media and photography, work that helped her gain the paid internship at Ivie & Associates, which ultimately turned into her current job.

“Almost everything I’ve learned at TCC and more specifically, the VAC, I use at work,” Hogan said. “That makes me feel very good because I’m getting great use out of my education.”  

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