Almuni Throwback: Caleb Ward

Caleb Ward, ’14
Video Editor/Producer from 2012-2014

Caleb

 

If you could sum up your experience in Design Works in two words, what would it be?

Opportunity and fun

What was your first memory of working at Design Works? 

My very first project was an overview video for the UNT Union. We had this little-bitty closet on the top floor of a dark building, with no windows, and it smelled like fifty years worth of must and mold. You combine that with the fact that it’s kind of quiet up there. We were doing very creative work while other people were doing accounting work and doing things that were completely necessary for running the business, but it was a weird vibe. We did the best we could with what we had. We did incredibly awesome things from a closet.

What have you done since leaving Design Works and graduating from UNT? / What do you do now?

I got a job as a marketing coordinator at Premium Beat. When I started that job, I thought I was going to be ill prepared, but the opportunities I had working for the Union really did prepare me. From there, I worked my way up the company and became the content manager for Shutterstock. Using my knowledge from the Union, I was able to thrive there. After I left that job, I moved on to work at a company called School of Motion. We create content for motion designers. All of these jobs would not have been possible for me had I not worked at the Union first.

How did your time at Design Works prepare you for the future?

Back when we were in the closet-office, we had the idea to do a little bit of professional development. In times when we didn’t have many projects going on and had some down time, we worked together on our resumes. We helped each other with putting together portfolios, talked about how to email people well, and updated our LinkedIn profiles with professional headshots and other details. Everybody in the office did that. 

What about Design Works had the greatest impact on you?

There were fantastic leaders who offered amazing opportunities and made it fun to be a part of. There was still structure, like any other business, but there was never a day where I wasn’t excited about going to work. I never had that dread because we were doing incredibly fulfilling work and we were helping people along the way.

What was your favorite moment at Design Works?

We released the UNT rap anthem on a Tuesday or something, in the morning. I left for class, came back, and had 14 views. We hit refresh and it had 100 views. Hit refresh and it said 300+, because at the time YouTube didn’t have live analytics. We watched as people started sharing it out. Though we couldn’t see how many views we had, we could see people sharing the video online and literally hundreds of people were commenting and sharing it. Later that evening, KERA radio station called us up and wanted to do an interview. We came back to the office the next day and the video had 40 thousand views. That was one of my favorite moments. That was my favorite project.

What was the most important lesson you learned during your time at Design Works?

It is more important to do good work with people you enjoy than it is to do incredible work at the expense of relationships with others.

What do you wish other people knew about Design Works?

I would want other people to know that Design Works isn’t a random print shop. It’s a creative place where incredible things are happening that reaches beyond just UNT. People leave from there and go on to do things that affects the world. It allows students to fulfill their dreams and pursue what they came to college for. Design Works offers experience that is relevant and interesting.

Thing you miss about Design works? Thing you miss about UNT?

I miss how easy it is to make friends at UNT because everyone is so friendly. That is really a blessing you don’t realize until you’re not at UNT anymore.

What’s your power/What’s your spirit animal?

My spirit animal is a mythical dragon.

What is your brain food?

My brain food is mediation.

What’s on your playlist?

While I work, I listen to podcasts, specifically Disney World related podcasts. My favorite one is Hardcore History. Stuff You Should Know is good.

What’s in your bag?

In my bag, I have a to-do list, Mac Book Pro, water bottle, 3 pairs of headphones, Emergen-C, and a cool new fountain pen.

What’s your favorite color?

My favorite color is light blue.

What is your favorite thing about your job now?

My favorite thing about my job now is because I get to help hundreds of thousands of people. My content is inspiring people to create, which makes the world a more beautiful place.

Advice for current students?

Don’t think that your school work is what gets you your job. It’s not going to be your GPA and it’s not going to be your ability to write essays. It’s going to be your passion and drive. Don’t sit around waiting for a job offer. Follow your passion and find experience right now while in school. If you do good work, good things will happen.