Alumni in Print – Where Are They Now? - Erin Nuss

January 2, 2018

The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation is publishing profiles featuring some of their more than 6000 former scholarship recipients. This series gives you an up close and personal insight into the thoughts and motivations of the former students who are a part of our industry today. As our current employees reach retirement and leave, replacing them becomes an increasingly important factor for many companies. Here is one story…

A Profile

Erin NussErin Nuss graduated from Millersville University with a B.S. Applied Engineering & Technology Management, Graphic Communications Technology and a Minor in Studio Art in May 2015.

How did you first get interested in the graphic arts, or decide to focus on graphic communications in school?

I always had an interest in art and graphics. While I was in high school I pulled my first squeegee and appreciated the immediate satisfaction of seeing my art come to life. From then on, I knew what I wanted to do – I found my passion.

Did you take any courses in high school that were related to graphic communications, or that prepared you for your planned career?

I was very active in the art department (drawing, painting, pottery). They launched a graphic arts class my senior year in high school, which was my first experience with hands-on printing. However, the equipment we had was rather dated. I can remember exposing screens in a dark room.

How do you think going through your education process prepared you for the workforce?

Starting out in the graphics field with basic, outdated technology allowed me to have a better understanding and appreciation for where the industry is now.

In the Workforce Today

What company are you working for now and what types of products and services do they provide to their customers?

I am the Associate Manager of Education at SGIA in Fairfax, VA. We serve as an information hub for the specialty imaging industry and have an expo in the fall every year. I work directly with schools that offer graphic communication programs. We encourage students to enter this thriving industry by running a scholarship program, student printing competition, job/internship boards, curriculum guides, and more. SGIA also supports SkillsUSA by managing the Screen Printing and Graphic Imaging-Sublimation competitions at the national level. I’m involved with SGIA’s workshops, Tech Tips, Women in Print Alliance, and Student and Educational Institution Memberships

PGSF Donate NowWhat job did you first have with the company when you started, what position do you have now, and/or what else have you done since joining the company?

Prior to SGIA, I worked as a customer service representative for financial printing at RR Donnelley in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

What do you think employers are looking for in today’s workforce and the current industry environment?

Our industry is evolving with everything else by becoming more automated and digital. I think employers are looking for hard workers with background experience in printing who also have willingness to learn and adapt to new technologies.

Is there anything that you have found to be particularly different from what you initially expected, now that you’ve progressed through your work career for a period of time?

Nothing major surprised me when I entered the workforce. Having an internship gave me confidence and experience so when I did start full time I was comfortable with the work environment.

Have you changed your plans or ideas about what area or type of job you might like to have since you first considered the graphic communications field and began studying for a career in it?

I haven’t changed my mind at all. I thoroughly enjoy this industry and look forward to what the future holds! 

What do you see yourself doing a few years from now?

Who knows for sure, but I know I will still be involved with the printing industry.

Was being a recipient of a PGSF scholarship important, or did it have an impact on your future or ability to succeed in the industry?

Being a PGSF scholarship recipient not only helped me out financially, but it also assured me that I was making the right career choice. It was comforting to know that other people were supporting my career and wanted me to succeed, too.

Anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you for your continued support!!!

Print and Graphics Scholarship FoundationPGSF works to inform young people about the opportunities that are available in the graphic arts industry and then support them during their educational phase. To learn more about PGSF, or how you can support its work, visit www.pgsf.org or contact John Berthelsen at [email protected]. PGSF is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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