By Leslie James, reporter

Brycen McCright, graphic designer at Elite Auto Salon, who graduated in December, 2016 with his Multimedia Graphic Design degree, is a perfect example of students succeeding at PPCC.

Last spring semester, McCright entered a snowboard design competition through the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and won first place out of 60+ submissions.

McCright then submitted his designs to the American Advertising Awards which attracts over 40,000 entries every year nationally. McCright won two Gold “Addy” Awards at the local student level and placed Silver at the district level.

McCright said being an artist made him creative from the start, but PPCC courses taught him how to use the tools necessary to be successful.

His first graphic design task was in Professor Kris Akse’s class where a client proposed a company rebranding task to the students, offering to accept the best student’s design. The client did not choose McCright’s work.

“I was second. It came down to me and one other student’s work,” he said.

McCright didn’t let that deter him, but became more determined than ever even though his instructors made no secret of graphic design being a tough field.

He said, “Instructors made it sound as if it was difficult to get a good job. It is, but I heard it too often and it made me nervous.”

McCright started as a free lance designer before landing his full-time dream job. He had previous ties with the 365 Grand Club director of advertising, Collin Christy, and the manager of marketing Laura Cameron (also a PPCC instructor) who referred his name to clients. Christy helped McCright build his first portfolio.

McCright said, “Collin helped me turn the switch from designing as a hobby to designing as a career path. He took the time to critique my work and showed me that being face to face with a client doesn’t have to be intimidating. A client wants to see their idea brought to life and they need my skill set and creativity to do so.”

In June, McCright travelled to Iceland where he visited a friend who worked for a bus touring company. He set his foot in the door and was interviewed. He then returned home and worked online as the graphic designer for BusTravel Iceland creating mostly brochures.

McCright worked as a free lance graphic designer for local limousine company, A Ride in Luxury, which in pay he took a ride in their limo to the Addy Awards gala.

His free lance work was mostly for experience and building a portfolio.

He applied at Elite Auto Salon, six times over the last two years and made multiple follow-ups.

He learned from his determination at PPCC not to give up, and stopped in to check with the company at least twelve times.

McCright was hired at the auto detailer in August.

He landed his dream job just under a year after graduating from PPCC.

His story shows that with hard work, dedication, and solid courses at PPCC, students can succeed once they graduate.