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Life & Work with Adriana Nelson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Adriana Nelson.

Adriana, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I have always been a big creative. As a child, I used to write and draw a lot and when I got older and headed to college, I didn’t know how to channel that into a career at first. After research and career counseling, I discovered the communications major, and I also discovered my passion for graphic design, which I freelance even to this day (six years and counting). I knew that in the career I was in, it would be competitive.

My first hurtle was getting an internship. I knew the real-world experience was essential prior to graduation if I wanted to get a job right after college. It wasn’t until my second to last semester that I secured an internship for a local business called Statusphere. This is a women ran company and the founder is also a UCF graduate. After gaining experience from them as a social media specialist, I graduated from UCF in 2018 with my bachelor’s in communications. Even with a degree, getting a job in my field was a challenge. It took me roughly two years to get a full-time position in my field. In the meantime, I worked retail jobs to make ends meet, and the day I was hired full-time for a social media specialist for a makeup company, I was ecstatic, but it was short-lived. From horrible management to dealing with the effects of a bad car accident to the start of COVID, things went downhill. Due to not seeing eye to eye and dealing with a lot of stress on the job, and that stress aggravating my injuries, I made the decision to leave that position after only a month and a half. Then with the start of COVID, it became even more difficult to find a new position, so for months, I stayed at home and in the time that I did, I gained a certification in content marketing to make myself more marketable once the pandemic subsided. After four months of consistently searching for a position, I finally got the position that I am in now. Not only do I do social media, but I also am in charge of company communications and am the head editor/designer for print materials, such as the company magazine.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It was not a smooth road at all. I knew going into my field that it would be very competitive. I went through a minor stage of post-grad depression because I felt like I would never get the position I wanted, and being that I didn’t have formal training in graphic design, my other passion, I didn’t feel confident enough applying for those positions. I remember having two jobs o make ends meet while looking for a career in my field for two years, and then leaving them for a position I only held for a month and a half and panicking, wondering how I would pay my bills. With COVID and them raising the amount for unemployment, it helped me a lot and allowed me the time to just evaluate life in general and redirect my drive to get the position I wanted. Even while in college, getting an internship wasn’t smooth sailing either. I remember going to so many internship fairs and not getting one call back. It wasn’t until my second to last semester of college that I finally secured one. So, no. My career path in the creative field was a struggle all the time. I use to envy others in other fields that could get a job easily because of the high demand for them, and so many times I debated going for something else, but I knew that working in the creative field was what I loved, so I kept going.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My position is a blend of a few things. It is called a communications specialist, but it is a mix of social media specialist, communications and graphic design. I feel like my true specialty is branding. From the graphic design aspects of it to the marketing techniques to start and build a brand, I enjoy and am good at it. In general, I am known for graphic design because I have been doing that the longest, and about 90% of my clientele for my freelance business is referrals. People love my work and will refer their friends and family, and I am grateful for the opportunity to just create. I think what sets me apart is my drive. After a lot of what I had to overcome in my career, I feel like many people would have given up, but no matter how hard it got, I never saw that as an option.

Are there any books, apps, podcasts or blogs that help you do your best?
Youtube is my best friend. Youtube taught me graphic design, and the internet, in general, taught me social media. So, all in all, my best resources were Youtube, Udemy, Hubspot and Google.

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Adriana Nelson, @baedri.designs

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