Fusion Staff Advice Column

A series of advice from previous Fusion staff members to current staff members.


Mandolin Arnett: Is there any advice you can give to students who still have a year left in school and are inching up to graduation?

Angela Molina: Hey Mandolin,

Hope you’re doing well down in Kent! Seems like just yesterday I was graduating from my undergraduate, but I’m actually coming up on four years. How time flies! 

I’d imagine around this time, senioritis is kicking in. I felt that too, and sometimes it feels like fighting against the urge to curl up under your blankets and sleep the year away only makes it worse. Hang tight, though! Though the big, scary future looms before you, I highly advise using this time to have fun.

I once had a professor tell me, “You will never have more time than you have now during your undergraduate.” I didn’t believe her at the time. After all, between classes, work, studying, and socializing, my life already felt pretty full. Oh, how wrong I was. I’m twenty-five now, living independently in Lakewood with a full-time job. If I’m not at work, there are usually groceries to buy, cars to take in for repairs, tax forms to fill out at city hall, bathtubs to scrub, and a cat to keep fed. When I say take the time to have fun when you’re still in college, I truly mean it! Before you know it, you’re probably going to have a lot on your plate. Take a surprise adventure with your friends to Insomnia Cookies at 1 AM. Rack up all the Flash Points you can. Take advantage of the free T-shirts and food Kent is practically giving out for free! 

I do want to add that just because adulthood is busy does not mean it is inherently miserable. You will still have a lot of fun. I, personally, enjoy my job and have good friends here. I find simple pleasures in things – staying out a little later with my girlfriend on a week night to get $1 sodas from McDonalds; getting a particularly long cuddle session from my kitty cat; or even being pleasantly surprised to see my commute home took five minutes less than usual. As daunting as the future seems, I promise it isn’t as bad as it looks. As the saying goes, it’s probably more afraid of you than you are of it!

You’re in the home stretch right now. Have fun. Don’t stress about the future when you have all this time now. And get yourself a free T-shirt!


Hannah Clotz: Dearest Stephen, what advice can you give for finding a job after graduation in the design field?

Stephen Francis: Hey Hannah,

First off, you are amazingly talented and I’m so blown away with everything you’ve designed for Fusion! Keep up the phenomenal work and I can’t wait to see the spring issue once it’s out!

When it comes to the job search in design. It can be a lot especially when you have such a competitive market in Cleveland. First, I’d recommend nailing down your brand/portfolio and making sure that it reflects outwardly who you are. Don’t be afraid to get a little funky! Make sure that your portfolio and brand are uniquely you. Companies hiring are looking for unique and fresh talent that are making a space of their own, and you’re doing just that! Second, think about what avenues of design you’d like to pursue. Do you enjoy consistent work with one brand (more of an in-house corporate style) or a free flowing creative agency (lots of differing client work constantly testing out your creative wit.) I personally was working at a digital marketing agency, and found myself getting burnt out quickly. I originally thought I would hate corporate in-house design, but the opportunity I have currently allows me to do both in-house work as well as working with outside clients with web design, brand identity, and so much more! As Hannah Montana once said “the best of both worlds” lol. Third is location! As much as I loved the cold of Ohio lol, I found a really unique opportunity in Charlotte, NC. I’ve never been before but I wanted to take a jump into somewhere new and exciting. It’s well worth it to explore areas outside of Ohio that you’ve thought about. Anyways, enough about me! 

You are going to go out there and do amazing things, and please reach out if you ever need help with your portfolio, design work, life bc adulting is hard lol, and if you ever need anything else feel free to reach out. I’m obviously v intimidating lol


Matt Bartter: What should I do if I don’t feel like I’m queer enough to belong in certain queer spaces?

Kate Common:

Short answer: You are queer enough! If you identify as queer then you do belong.

 Long answer: Being “queer enough” should not be an issue in queer spaces, but unfortunately not all queer spaces are safe spaces for all queer folks. The same -isms that are present in the wider culture can also be present in queer spaces. 

If certain queer spaces feel hostile and not welcoming, my advice is to seek out a broader array of queer spaces—hopefully you will find one that warmly accepts you. If not, maybe you can create a space that is more open. If you are feeling this way others probably are too. Your identity is precious and if certain queer spaces make you feel not “queer enough” to belong, then it might be time to find or create a more welcome space.



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