Avery Freniere

Holyoke native Avery Freniere '14 is hoping to pursue a career in graphic design.

Career Plan Swings From Raiders of the Lost Ark to Tomb Raider

For Avery Freniere ʼ14, a decision she made long ago meant that her career would be history﹣literally. But a class she took her sophomore year had her reassessing her future and adding a second major in computer information technology (CIT).

“I came to Elms with the idea of being a history major ﹣ I was all about history, all the time,” the Holyoke native said. “I wanted to be just like Indiana Jones ﹣ that was my plan. And then I realized that doing artwork and using technology to share what I love was what I really wanted to do, and CIT was a really good way to do that.”

Most of her friends were already CIT majors, so she was spending ample amounts of her free time in the computer lab.

“The CIT program is amazing; it’s like a small family,” Avery said. “We all hang out in the computer lab. We have game nights together, we have movie nights together. Alumni come back to join us, too.”

It was a class taken in her sophomore year, with Goose Berkowitz-Gosselin, Ed.D., associate professor and director of CIT, that really cemented her decision.

“After that class I knew I wanted to go into CIT as well,” she said.

Having a state-of-the-art computer lab, which opened in January in the Center for Natural and Health Sciences, doesn’t hurt.

“We have faster computers, which are really, really useful. We’ve gotten some new drawing tablets, which is my favorite thing to use – I love them,” she said, adding that the new smart board is helping students learn important skills in making PowerPoint presentations before entering the job market.

Future Game Plan

When she graduates in May, Avery will have a degree in graphic design, and hopes to work in that field.

“I really love digital painting. I love creating interfaces for different technologies: games, phones, apps,” Avery said.

A video game enthusiast, Avery said she’d love to design action, fantasy or adventure games.

“Being involved with the video game industry would be great,” she said, noting that “Massachusetts is one of the largest states that produce video games in the country.”

Having a good understanding of people and how they think was an important aspect of game design that took her by surprise.

“You have to know about people, which is a really strange thing to think about when you’re thinking about video games,” she said. “but as you’re playing a video game, you have to be interested in what’s happening.”

Games that are very linear tend to be boring, so “You have to have little things that happen, things that you don’t expect, to make it lifelike for the person who’s playing,” Avery said.

Avery hopes that a video game she is working on with classmates will be ready to show off during Senior Showcase in May. After that, she plans to participate in the graphic design summer internship program, where students design pieces such as brochures, business cards and letterhead, for area businesses.