Taytum Bouchard ’17 found a graphic design job at a local packaging company through the Elms alumni network.

Jack of All Trades

As a prepress graphic designer for Pioneer Packaging, Taytum Bouchard ’17 does a little bit of everything when it comes to assisting clients. She has a different way of putting it, however.

Photo of 2017 valedictorian Taytum Bouchard, a graphic design major“I make trash,” she said with a laugh. “People look at me like I have three heads when I say that. We actually make packaging, boxes, and custom cardboard containers. We handle all of the printing, cutting, and creation of those items for clients.”

Joking aside, business pros will tell you that packaging is a critical part of marketing products — it falls under the “physical evidence” category of the 7 P’s of marketing.

“The colors you see on a computer screen and the colors used in a printing press aren’t necessarily the same,” Taytum said. “So, you need to make sure the colors get calibrated correctly before printing anything.”

'I diversified what I did within graphic design so that I didn’t limit myself on the job market.'

Taytum’s job allows her to work as a jack of all trades, reviewing and cleaning up her clients’ design files to make sure their products appear on the shelf exactly as they should. With big-name brands like Friendly’s to take care of, Taytum is the one responsible for making sure the vanilla ice cream on the carton looks creamy white, and the mint chocolate chip is a refreshing green.

Network Connections

Thanks to a close-knit alumni network, graphic design and computer information technology (CIT) majors often hear about job opportunities through the grapevine. In Taytum’s case, these connections helped her land her first job out of college.

“My job was a former alumna’s job,” she said. “Kristie Pueschel graduated the year before I came to Elms. But, because of how the department works as a community, when she got a new job, she reached out to the department and asked if anyone wanted to apply at Pioneer Packaging.”

Photo of Taytum Bouchard in the CIT lab“Those connections are invaluable,” she added.

After settling into her new job, Taytum said that she was grateful for the wide range of graphic design opportunities she had at Elms, primarily because they prepared her for the unexpected challenges that come up with supporting a business.

“I diversified what I did within graphic design so that I didn’t limit myself on the job market,” she said. “Now, I’m the backup for everyone in the office.

“Eventually you start to understand the context of certain things, and you realize that it all makes sense. It’s a fast learning curve, but it’s also a long learning curve.”

Graphic design majors at Elms are encouraged to express their creativity through a variety of digital media and technologies. If helping others bring their visions to life sounds exciting to you, contact us or schedule a campus visit to learn more.