Name: Dakota Berg
Graduation Year: 2016
Job Title: Lead Designer
Describe your design journey.
My design journey started in middle school when I met a local graphic designer and first found Photoshop. I spent a few years learning and exploring, and eventually I picked up a few random freelance jobs around town. I ended up going to the University of Washington in Seattle my first year of college. After that, I transferred back to Eastern Washington University to finish out my Bachelor’s degree. During college, I did a design internship at BHW1 and worked as a full-time designer on staff at Klündt Hosmer. I also was a designer for the EWU Bookstore and a PLUS Facilitator for a few web design courses. I had a variety of freelance clients during college and after graduating, which eventually led me to my current position at SportsCastr. I worked remotely from Spokane for the first two years before relocating to New York City and I’ve been in the city for two years now.
What are some of the responsibilities of your current position?
I do all of the internal design work for SportsCastr and FanChain. Some of my job responsibilities include branding, web design, app design, web development, strategy, product management, new feature development, marketing strategy, marketing and social media materials, merchandise design, data visualization, presentation decks, client-branded assets, investor materials, quarterly reports and more. There are a few contract designers that I also art direct, including illustrators and animators.
What is your favorite part about your position?
The variety of the work that I get to do under the SportsCastr brand keeps things interesting, from things for SportsCastr products, to things for our cryptocurrency suite, FanChain, to things for our partners. My favorite aspect is working on the core products, SportsCastr.com and the SportsCastr iOS App.
How did the design program prepare you for your current position?
One of the best skills I learned in the program at EWU was problem solving and simply learning how to figure things out on the fly. Understanding that going into the profession not knowing everything is important, but knowing that you can figure anything out is the most important aspect. Also, learning how to code has been one of the most valuable skills I’ve been able to apply, stepping in to help problem solve or building out complete sections or features myself.
What was most memorable to you about your experiences in the design program?
The relationships I formed with some of my fellow students and professors in the program have been some of my favorite relationships I have still to do this day. Going into the design program, I knew that branding was an area that I was already interested in, but one of the more memorable moments I have from the program was when I first started to understand the magic of blending the skills of design and web development.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering pursuing a design degree?
Hone your design skills and build your portfolio outside of school. Always have side projects. One of the most helpful things I did was build a big portfolio of work before, during and after college, which allowed me to be highly selective of what projects appeared in my portfolio. Also work on talking through your design decisions and being able to explain how you arrived where you did and why it’s the best solution for the problem. If you know how to sell yourself and you have a solid portfolio, you won’t have any issues finding opportunities.