Each year, thanks to generous donations from endowment investors and the industry, the PRINTING United Alliance Scholarship Program is able to provide funds to students pursuing the graphic communications industry. The Alliance is ready to show the love again to printing's future, and is now accepting 2022 Scholarship applications by April 30. To highlight the up-and-coming workforce and share the scholarship's impact, we caught up with past recipient McKenzie Munson, a former University of Wisconsin-Stout student who is now employed as an account manager with The John Roberts Company.
1. How did you first get interested in graphic communications? How has your education influenced your career choice?
I had a really challenging time choosing what I would study at college. I love business, marketing, and customer service, but I am also creative and passionate about art and design. When I heard about the Graphic Communications Program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, I knew it would be a good fit for all of these interests.
Through my time at UW-Stout, I found that Graphic Communications was absolutely the right field for me. I love that it’s such a broad field. There is no shortage of opportunities within our industry. My education prepared me for a variety of career options, giving me room to explore and consider many career paths.
When I was looking for jobs as a college senior, an opportunity to do what I loved came from The John Roberts Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We are commercial printers that specialize in high-quality offset and web lithography, as well as digital print. As an account manager, each day I utilize the many skills I learned during my time at UW-Stout. I am able combine my creative and technical interests as I support clients in their development of new marketing directives!
2. What advice would you give to a new student also looking to start a career in this field?
Find your passion within Graphic Communications. If you find what you love about our industry and work hard to develop your skills in that area, people will take notice and many doors will open for you. Also, take advantage of any networking opportunities you find — building relationships with others is key to success.
3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself continuing to build my career in a customer service or sales role.
4. What impact did winning the PRINTING United Alliance Scholarship have on your education or career?
The [PRINTING United Alliance] Scholarship had a huge impact on my education and career path. The scholarship funds helped with the financial burdens of school and allowed me to focus more time and energy on my classes and personal development. I am so thankful to everyone at [the Alliance] and all the donors who supported me. Without their support I don’t know where I would be. The scholarships I received showed the heart of our industry, generous people who want to see more young students find success in Graphic Communications. I can’t thank you all enough for the support you gave me.
Learn more about the Scholarship Program and how to apply.