Today we speak to Jessica Potash, a senior transfer student from Kean University majoring in Studio Art with a concentration in Graphic Design and a minor in Art History from Cranford, NJ (Union County).
What are your professional goals? And how is Rowan helping to support you in those goals?
My goal is to become a graphic designer in New York, and one day I want to become an art director. The faculty in the Rowan Art Department have always been supportive of my goals and they are always ready to help. They have pushed me to develop my creative voice, gain confidence in my work, and experience leadership positions.
The professors at Westby have infinite amounts of industry experience and they give us so many resources in order to succeed. Because of them and the program they created, I feel confident that I will excel after graduation.
How does your field impact the world? What impact would you like to have on the world in your field?
Design is everywhere. It is the logo on your hoodie, the poster of your favorite movie, it is the website you’re reading this on, and so much more! Graphic design doesn’t just make things pretty, it tells a story and gives visual meaning to abstract ideas. I think the greatest impact I could have in my field would be to have my work directly inspire another person to create.
What inspired you to choose your major?
In high school, I took an intro to graphic design class and I thought it was amazing. I’ve always gravitated towards the arts, but before that, I never knew I could make a career out of it. After I explored some of the endless possibilities a person could do in graphic design, I knew that that was what I wanted to do.
As a student from North Jersey, how did you become aware of Rowan University?
When I was a junior in high school and still college hunting, I visited the Rowan with a family friend who is an alumnus. I ended up going to a different school my first year of college, but I never forgot the vibe of Rowan’s campus. I found myself always comparing that school to the feeling that Rowan had given me on that tour, and I realized it was time to transfer. It was the best decision I could have ever made.
How long is your trip/drive “home” to North Jersey?
My hometown is an hour and a half drive from campus.
What are some of the benefits for you, living this distance from home?
The distance from home gives me so much freedom. This will seem cliché, but the distance gave me the freedom to learn more about myself. I was forced out of my comfort zone and I was given the opportunity to try new things like sign up for clubs and leadership roles that I might not have tried if I were in my same hometown environment.
What are a few interesting or new things about Rowan’s South Jersey area that you would share with future students that are not from the area?
I’ve lived in New Jersey, more specifically North Jersey, for my entire life. When I moved to South Jersey for school, I didn’t realize how windy it could get! The first winter I spent at Rowan was the first time I experienced a wind that actually took my breath away. Also, I didn’t realize how many amazing start-up bands are around the Rowan area. There are a lot of opportunities to go to house shows, listen to new music, and meet new people.
What off-campus, local fun places do you recommend students check out?
There is an axe throwing place called Primitive Axe on Delsea Drive and that is so fun! It’s super close to campus so you don’t need to worry if you don’t have a car. Axe throwing is a great Friday night activity to do with a few friends. It’s also great because Samurai sushi is in the same lot so you can get dinner too!
Why did you choose to transfer to Rowan University?
Rowan is one of two universities in the state that offers an accredited BFA program for graphic design. When I met with the department chair of the graphic design program, Jan Conradi, and she talked to me about the program, I was sold. From my first portfolio review, I immediately felt like I had a place here and that the staff cared about my success — I still find this to be true.
Like what you see?
Rachel Rumsby, sophomore communication studies and public relations double major
Photos submitted by:
Jessica Potash, senior studio art major
Header photo by:
We are #RowanPROUD to be included on Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s 2021 Transfer Honor Roll, which recognizes select nationwide colleges and universities that foster dynamic pathways for transfer students.