GDC Student Feature
Here’s our QnA with Kía Valdez Bettcher, a MacEwan Design Studies student who turned a GDC Student Mentorship at Ribbon Rouge into a working client!
Your educational background (School you graduated from, year, program name etc.)
ACAD Pre-college program (2014) and I recently completed the MacEwan Design Studies Program (although I won’t graduate until November 2018).
Tell us about the Ribbon Rouge project you developed after the mentorship?
I was tasked with creating an animated video and a series of info graphics related to HIV awareness and stigma reduction in Canada. The challenge was to present something complex and taboo such as HIV and its associated challenges in a clear and understandable way.
Were the connections made through the student mentorship helpful in advancing your design career?
Yes, meeting design students who were studying at other schools in the city and seeing their infectious passion has been encouraging and makes me want to continue to push myself within the field. On top of that, the connections I made with Ribbon Rouge and Morenike Olaosebikan have led to interesting projects that I would not otherwise have had the chance to work on.
Your thoughts on what student membership provided to you?
Hearing the stories from a variety of people already working in the design industry helped broaden my understanding of what Design is and what it can accomplish. It was also helpful to learn how the practicing designers in the GDC got to where they are today professionally. I’ve tried to employ what I learned from those designers and so far it’s paying off as I start my career.
On top of learning from designers, I gained a broader understanding of working on complex social issues as a result of collaborating with Ribbon Rouge. Listening and understanding are powerful tools when it comes challenges that are unfamiliar.
Why would you recommend a student membership to design students?
The student membership can help you get out of the small design bubble within your school and meet peers and role models in a supportive environment. Another bonus is that is can show potential employers that you are genuinely interested in learning more about the field and are committed to improving yourself by learning from others.
Watch Kia’s video for Ribbon Rouge here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBO3zSbPNrY
Check out more of Kia’s work on her site: https://www.kiavalbet.com/
Find out more about the GDC’s mentorship program at https://gdc.design/education/mentorship or follow us on Instagram (@gdcabnorth) to get the latest news!
Learn more about Ribbon Rouge: https://www.ribbonrouge.com/