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Students pose in group photo at Adobe Conference
March 21, 2024


Academics | Student Success

A group of Curry College students recently had the opportunity to attend the two-day, immersive Adobe Creative Retreat held in Boston. Among the attendees were Kayla Hanuschak and Kyle MacDonald, both senior graphic design majors at Curry.

Throughout the event, students were involved in a series of activities aimed at sparking creativity and career growth. These included:

  • Panels held by industry experts and experienced designers who led insightful discussions.
  • Workshops that focused on hands-on tasks to strengthen design skills
  • Personalized portfolio reviews
  • Mindfulness and wellness sessions such as yoga and meditation

The retreat was an invaluable networking experience for Hanuschak and MacDonald. Hanuschak reflected, “By the last day of the retreat, I left with several new connections that I believe will be beneficial for my career in the future. Especially with the two professionals that reviewed my portfolio, Chris Bransfield (Executive UX research director) and Adam Danielson (professional freelance designer).”

MacDonald added, “I was able to connect on LinkedIn with these designers and many fellow designers from surrounding schools.” From swapping business cards to starting up a conversation over coffee, the networking opportunities at an event like this are endless for students.

Both students emphasized the immense value this event meant to their future careers.

“I was given a lot of strong advice towards finding jobs, I received suggested edits on my portfolio, and I was able to meet so many design industry professionals,” shared MacDonald.

The opportunity to hear valuable advice from experts provided each student with a clearer insight into industry standards and practices, setting a solid foundation for their job searches in the near future.

Curry played a pivotal role in facilitating the students’ attendance at the event. Hanuschak and MacDonald both credit Alison Poor-Donahue, Chair and Professor of Visual and Performing Arts. As Hanuschak’s advisor, Professor Poor-Donahue has been a guiding force, offering crucial support as she navigates her creative journey at Curry. Additionally, Professor Poor-Donahue submitted MacDonald’s portfolio, which ultimately granted him the opportunity to attend the retreat.

Hanuschak and MacDonald both felt prepared and self-assured as they participated in the retreat's activities, thanks to their concentrated coursework at Curry. Hanuschak found her portfolio development class particularly beneficial, as it provided a comprehensive understanding of portfolio creation and offered valuable insights into personal branding. Moreover, the class delved into resume building, crafting compelling social media biographies, and harnessing the power of LinkedIn for professional networking, all which came into play as she engaged in conversations with the industry professionals present in each activity.

Reflecting on their time at Curry, both seniors expressed confidence in the preparation they've received from their coursework and professors. "The guidance I've received from faculty members, particularly my advisor, has been invaluable for my personal and professional development. Constructive feedback has not only refined my design skills but also instilled in me the confidence and determination to pursue opportunities like the Adobe Creative Retreat," stated Hanuschak.

For those considering attending a similar event, Hanuschak and MacDonald offer the following recommendations: prepare a well-curated portfolio with correct information beforehand, remain open to new learning experiences, bring materials for notetaking, and don’t be afraid to actively participate in discussions and activities.