How I Learn By Doing

Making WOW Look Good

By Gabby Pajo

Photo By Blake Silva

Gabby Pajo is a third-year art and design major with a photography concentration and a minor in Spanish. She works as the multimedia intern for Cal Poly New Student and Transition Programs.

Like most Cal Poly students, I went through Week of Welcome (WOW) my freshman year. I still remember the enthusiasm from my leaders and how infectious it was — they made me excited to be a part of this university community, and I realized I wanted to be a part of the program that helped make Cal Poly my home.

When I started working with New Student and Transition Programs (NSTP), I did not expect my job to overlap with my major. Yet here I am integrating what I learn in the classroom, like the basic design principles taught in my introductory courses, into what I do every day in the NSTP office. My duties include creating visual tools like campus maps and sponsorship invitations that are used for Student Life Orientation Days throughout the summer.

While I spend a lot of my time designing, the majority of my time at work happens behind the camera, shooting content for the department’s website, Facebook page and newsletters, and providing images to use in the graphics that my partner and I design. I am currently working on a new video series for NSTP, which utilizes all of the skills I was taught in my Video I course.

With every graphic, photo and video I create, I hope to spark new students’ interest and get them excited for their time at Cal Poly. For me, being a part of New Student and Transition Programs has always been about making a positive impact on incoming students and continuing to provide a community where every student, incoming and current, feels included and valued.

My job never feels like a job. Part of it is that I am constantly learning how I can improve, using the skills I learned in the classroom for a purpose. Another part is that there’s no monotony. I have new tasks each week incorporated into ongoing projects — it keeps me busy and I love it. But I think the biggest and best part is that I absolutely love what I do. I have the amazing opportunity to take what I learn and use it toward something I am passionate about.

As I think about my future career, my time at NSTP inspires me to find a business or company where I identify with the core values and feel passionate about its mission. From there, I know I will find a way to fit my strengths and skill set into the workplace — which is exactly how I ended up where I am today.

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