Alumni Throwback: Desmond Thomas

Desmond Thomas, ’14

Social Media Manager, 2013-2014

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

Growth and fun.

What was your first memory of working at Design Works? 

It was the Union wide meeting, we had to sit through all these boring videos and take a group picture. I didn’t know anyone, but I remember sitting with Nicole and she introduced me to Jonathan and I thought he was really funny.

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

Right after I graduated, I got two internships. One was a theater center in Austin called The Long Center as a marketing and operations intern. The other was at a social media agency at Social Distillery, which handles smaller accounts and it was really great. I finally got a full time position at Capital Factory. Over the last few years, I have gotten some great experience in VIP coordination and now I work on brand activations for large companies.

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

I think the big part was learning how to translate my skills from a theatre degree for a business setting. I didn’t realize how many skills were applicable. A theatre degree taught me how to speak well, present myself in certain situations, and communicate with audiences to sell ideas. Starting with social media, I built a solid marketing foundation for myself to get me ready for where I am now.

What about Design Works had the greatest impact on you?

Really learning how to be detail oriented. I tend to go with the flow and be creative, but I lacked focus on details. Working at Design Works really helped me learn how to pay more attention to details and focus, which I’ve carried with me through my career.

What was your favorite moment at Design Works?

I think it was whenever we finished the UNT rap video. After seeing the kind of traction we had with it, it made me see the kind of creative team that I was working with. I really felt like I was a part of something that was able to create content that people could enjoy.

Favorite project you worked on?

I’d say either the rap anthem. It was not only fun to write, but also fun to coordinate. I also liked the Mockingjay preview that we made when we were screening the movie. That was really fun to work on. I enjoyed the challenge of making the preview look similar to the actual movie.

What do you wish other people knew about Design Works?

I wish people knew that we could do anything! We have a robust set of skills and I wish more people knew the scope of what we do.

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

So many things! I miss the overall community of UNT and Denton. It has a small, close-knit feeling. I also really loved the food. We have a lot of great local food places that people don’t appreciate enough. I miss the people. I feel like I’ve learned so much from everyone I worked with in so many ways. Being able to learn from some really talented people was really great.

What’s your spirit animal?

My spirit animal is a baby elephant.

What is your brain food?

My brain food is cold-brew.

What’s on your playlist?

Right now, I listen to Selena Gomez, Carly Rae Jepsen, Frank Ocean, Mitski, and Tears for Fears.

What’s in your bag?

Gym clothes, chargers for laptop and phone, a book, a notebook, and some headphones.

What’s your favorite color?


What is your favorite thing about your job now?

My favorite thing about my job know is that I am able to work with so many different marketing departments with so many large companies. I think that has been such a great opportunity. I’ve worked with WalMart, Amazon, and other large corporations. I’ve learned their marketing plans and drive.

Advice for current students?

Always go for something with as much passion as possible, even if you’re not sure if it’ll work out in the long-term. I think that if you’re doing something and you’re doing it for the right reasons, you’re going to get to where you need to be no matter what.