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Success Stories

Coming Full Circle is Wicked Awesome

Posted on April 18, 2014

Picture of Mark Van Der Hyde

This is a success story that starts and ends with a bit of advice: Do what you enjoy.

After completing his associate of applied arts degree at John Tyler, Mark Van Der Hyde wanted to enter the creative field and start life in the “real” world.  Not just work on college projects for another two years. So, weeks after graduation, he moved to the greater Boston area to be closer to his fiancé and begin life together.

Van Der Hyde had no job in place after relocating, but made finding one his full-time job.  He was bolstered by a bit of advice from a Tyler alum, Jon Burnley, who came back to talk to Van Der Hyde’s class about being a graphic designer.  The alumnus told the class a four-year degree was not the only path to a career in graphic design.  He was proof of that. “Go on lots of interviews, put your best personality forward, and do what you enjoy,” he said. 

Burnley was not the only person from Tyler to have an effect on Van Der Hyde.  The graphic designer, Meredith Carrington, who’d supervised Van Der Hyde’s internship in his final semester at Tyler suggested that a newspaper would be a good starting point for entry-level positions, especially since most towns have one. Van Der Hyde focused on those openings and landed a part-time opening at a New Hampshire publishing company.  He worked hard, took on extra side projects, and gained valuable experience in a fast-paced work environment.

It was a side project that eventually landed Van Der Hyde a job at an interactive design agency, first as a designer and eventually as a senior producer and project manager.

“While I may not be doing design as my day job these days, I’m still doing something that I really enjoy,” says Van Der Hyde, who after 8 years in Boston decided it was time to come full circle.  He emailed his former professor and mentor at John Tyler, Colin Ferguson, and asked if they’d be interested in having him come to talk about life after Tyler.  His message, “Work hard and focus on what you enjoy doing.  You’ll land in the right spot.”

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