By Daniela Sigala, Strategic Communication ’18
Rolando Guerrero is an art director at GCG Marketing, a full-service marketing firm, in his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. He works on multiple projects including clients such as 7 Eleven and PolyJohn. Rolando graduated as a Strategic Communication major and Art minor from Texas Christian University in 2009.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL WORK DAY LOOK LIKE FOR AN ART DIRECTOR?
I get to work at 8:30 a.m. I don’t actually drink coffee, so I just grab a water, check my emails and get my playlist right for the day. I love listening to music while I work. There’s usually a status meeting for the projects that are due at the end of the week. The main client that I work on is 7 Eleven, so I get together with my account executive and she gives me the rundown of what I should be looking out for and what is due. Once I get my marching orders, I put my music on and go to town working.
DID YOU THINK ABOUT GOING TO GRADUATE SCHOOL?
I was the first [in my family] to go to college and I would have been the first person in my family to go to grad school. The kind of career that I have, as a graphic designer and art director, my portfolio and experience is more important than anything I could have done in grad school. Although it is a great direction to go toward, it was more valuable, for me, to stick to a full-time position to expand my experience.
HOW IMPORTANT ARE INTERNSHIPS IN YOUR FIELD OF WORK?
I think internships are really important. I had to change my major from graphic design to advertising. I had to work twice as hard because I was a step behind the graphic design majors. When I would go into interviews for internships, agencies would tell me that my work wasn’t good at all. It was tough to hear but it is part of the industry. They are going to give you criticism and you have to take it. I was down on my luck with internships during that time but thankfully TCU has a program called the Real World (similar to Strategic Communication’s ROXO) that did advertising for nonprofits. When I finished college, one of my co-interns from the Real World started working where I currently work and she thought of me for a position because she knew me and my work ethic. Thankfully I was able to get a job because of that internship.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO STUDENTS INTERESTED IN STCO?
I would say that you have to be passionate about what you do and what you’re going to get yourself into. There’s going to be a lot of things that are going to be thrown at you, clients, personalities and criticism of your work. You have to make sure that you’re in it and that you are willing to go through those things to advance in your career.