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Graduate Jade Williamson Uses Her Education to Make a Positive Impact

At just 22-years-old Jade Williamson, a graduate of the Graphic Design and Interactive Media program now offered through the Toronto Film School, has landed a job that not only combines her love of creativity with the technical side of design, but allows her to make a meaningful contribution on a global scale.

Williamson, originally from Manitoulin Island, north of Lake Huron in Ontario, graduated from the Graphic Design and Interactive Media Diploma program just more than one year ago, in December 2013. After a short, but intense job search Williamson was offered a job as a Junior Graphic Designer at Me to We Style, the apparel line that supports Free The Children.

“Working for Me To We Style, a company that supports Free The Children, has been a rewarding experience,” Williamson said “I am fortunate to be able to use my skills and education in a way that ultimately helps grow the positive impact of the organization.”

Me to We Style is an innovative social enterprise that offers socially conscious and environmentally friendly products and half of its net profit is donated to Free The Children.

Free the Children is an international charity and educational partner that works to empower youth to remove barriers that prevent them from being active local and global citizens

In the time that she has been working with Me to We Style, Williamson said she has had the opportunity to introduce design projects that contribute to the marketing content of the brand.

“I’ve also worked on animated content using my After Effects knowledge learned in school,” Williamson said. “The other graphic designer and I were asked to create custom digital artwork for the office, which has been a creative project that exercises my illustration skills. We also planned and executed a photo shoot featuring many of our garments that was a success.”

She said the skills she learned in the Graphic Design and Interactive Media Diploma program have been really helpful in the work place and as she works, Williamson said she can hear advice from her instructors echoing in her head.

“I hear them saying to make sure that every design decision I make has a reason,” Williamson said with a laugh. “It really has helped me through and really helped me produce the best designs I can for the company.”

Williamson came to graphic design after studying visual merchandizing straight out of high school. She had completed a program and moved to Toronto to work, but found it somewhat unfulfilling.

“I just wasn’t happy working in retail, it just wasn’t for me,” Williamson said. “But, I had done a little graphic design in the visual merchandizing program I really liked it and I was really good at it naturally.”

So she decided to look at studying graphic design and choose to obtain her pursue her diploma in Graphic Design and Interactive Media, now offered through the Toronto Film School (formerly the Academy of Design).

“I was able to start right way in January and it ran straight through to December,” Williamson said. “That appealed to me as did the fact that the classes are so small that I would get one-on-one with the teacher.”

Another factor that drew her to the program was that it offers courses in Web Development.

“It was such a strong part of the program and I knew it would be a really good skill to have,” Williamson said. “And after graduating I have seen first hand that if you can code that is something everyone is looking for.”

Always drawn to conceptual and artistic elements Williamson said while studying she delighted in courses like Typography where students worked with their hands and make illustrations on the computer.

“The projects were small limited time projects, they were semester long projects so we really got to pour everything into it, especially the Art Direction class,” Williamson said.

In addition the Capstone Project course at the end of the diploma program, which designed to allow the students to work on a major project with a real-world client, gave Williamson some serious fodder for job interviews when she completed the program.

“When I mentioned that project they (interviewers) were drawn in to that real world experience,” Williamson said.

To learn more about the Toronto Film School and the Graphic Design and Interactive Media Diploma Program, click here.

To find out more about Me to We Style’s global impact visit www.metowestyle.com.