7 Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Earned My Degree

This is a slightly modified and condensed version of my “17 Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Started My Career” talk. I presented this talk to freshmen students at a Goshen College alumni panel discussion on 15 January 2015. View the longer version here.

Design: Edgar Diaz
Font: Helvetica Neue

South Bend River Lights Logo

River Lights Logo - Black River Lights Logo - Reverse

This was part of a larger project to revamp the design and content of the South Bend River Lights website. The client asked that I update the existing logo (shown below) with a new design.

River Lights Logo - Original

I used the Light Forest sculpture from the old logo as inspiration for the final design. Only the black and white and the reversed-out logos are shown here. Full-color options were considered as well, but were not used.

Goal: Create a logo for the South Bend River Lights project
Design: Edgar Diaz
Client: Downtown South Bend

South Bend River Lights Website Revamp

River Lights Header

The client for this project needed a number of updates done to the South Bend River Lights website in advance of its public launch. At the time, there was very little written or visual content on the site, and the site structure needed to be reorganized.

Visual content needing to be done included:

  • Design a logo
  • Develop a video
  • Design a new header image
  • Update carousel images on the Home page
  • Add SB150 image and logo to the Home Page
  • Build an interactive timeline on the Story page
  • Design images for Timeline on the Story page
  • Add concept images to the Design page

The client also needed written content for the following pages:

  • Story
  • Design
  • Artist
  • Support

Kylie Carter from Downtown South Bend played a key role. She was responsible for coordinating the project and developing some of the written content. She also did some photography and provided most of the existing resources to be used in the project, including concept images.

The concept images were developed by Rob Shakespeare and Shakespeare Lighting Design. Josh from Monkeyhouse Marketing & Design helped us overcome several key obstacles on the back end of the website.

The bulk of the work was completed in my spare time over the course of three days. Edits, adjustments, and meetings added a few extra hours over another three days before the project was finalized.

Screenshots of the finished site are below.


Project: Revamp the South Bend River Lights website
Client: Downtown South Bend
Key Collaborators: Kylie Carter, Aaron Perri, Josh Harmon

17 Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Started My Career

17 things I wish I had known before I started my career. I presented a version of this to junior- and senior-year students at the Career Planning class at Goshen College on 2 December 2014. Each slide was presented along with a personal example of a lesson I learned in that area. Who knows, maybe I’ll do a blog series one day highlighting each slide.

Design: Edgar Diaz
Font: Helvetica Neue

Sunburst – Coffee Run Project

Goal: Create a fun, off-the-cuff TV spot for Sunburst Races
Project Manager: Edgar Diaz
Outline and Script: Dan Przybyla
Creative: Explore Media
Quinn Wilson – Office Worker 1 (gray shirt)
Paul Schissler – Office Worker 2 (blue shirt)
Tony Marquette – Extra
Don Watts – Sunburst Ray
Cinemetographer: Jameson Mullholland
Makeup: Julia Luckenbill
Production Manager: Chuck Fry

Debt Free

My wife keeps telling me I need to write a follow-up to my last post about our “no grocery shopping” challenge. So, how’d we do? Here’s a summary:

  • Total # of weeks on plan: 12 weeks
  • Average spent on groceries per week: $15
  • Total spent over 12 weeks: $180
  • Total saved: $384

We stuck with our “no grocery shopping plan” (except for the caveats mentioned in the last post) for twelve weeks total. Our average grocery spend for those weeks was about $15/week, or about $180 total. Until we started our challenge, our average grocery spend was $47/week. At that rate, twelve weeks worth of groceries should have cost us $564. So we saved $384 on groceries during our challenge.

We didn’t hit our goal of using up everything in the cupboard, freezer and refrigerator. But we did get close. By the time we finished with the challenge, we were down to couscous and a few other dried/non perishable ingredients in the cupboard, one or two things in the freezer, and eggs, milk and leftovers in the fridge.

So why’d we stop after 12 weeks if the cupboards weren’t completely bare? Two reasons:
1. WE WERE DEBT FREE! – (except for the house)
2. It kind of sucked

Debt Free!
When we started this challenge, our goal was to hit a major debt-payoff target sooner than planned. That target was our last and final loan payment, which was way bigger than the $384 we saved on groceries. But, having the discipline to buckle down in that one area helped us find extra money in other areas (discipline is contagious). We were able to pay off the debt early. We paid off the loan twelve weeks after the challenge began, so there was no reason to continue not buying groceries. Thank you, Dave Ramsey.

The Challenge Got Old Really Fast
Having limited food options was tiring. We didn’t eat as much as we used to. Some of that was due to poor planning. When you come home from work and the only thing you have is dried beans, you don’t eat.

Or, you run to the store and buy eggs and bread, and eat eggs and toast for the fifteenth time that week. We ate a lot of eggs and bread. In retrospect, we should have purchased more fruits and veggies, but those were expensive and we were trying to meet a goal.

We both experienced food poisoning at one point. We tried to make food stretch, and kept it a little too long in that one case. Never again.

On the plus side, at least we had food and were not starving. That’s more than a lot of people around the world can say. This experiment gave me a better understanding of what it’s like to live in poverty. It also made me much more grateful for the food that I DO have. Who knows, maybe we’ll try this challenge again sometime. The cupboards are starting to get full again.