Graphic design may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about private student loan processing. But for Meghan Pinder, the incredibly skilled graphic designer who works on the ScholarNet Marketing team, the two topics go hand-in-hand.
Meghan joined the ScholarNet team in 2013 and has been sharing her graphic design skills with us ever since. Meghan took some time out of her busy schedule to share how she found her passion for visual communication, what she does in her free time, and her favorite podcast to listen to while working.
We think you’ll also find it interesting to hear Meghan’s recommendations for capturing audiences, and the best guidance she received while financing her college degree.
How did you start your career as a graphic designer?
I was in the middle of my senior year of high school and I needed another art credit, so I decided to take a graphic design class. As the semester continued, I got increasingly intrigued. After high school, I went on to college and majored in graphic design. Going into my last semester, I was a part of a design showcase, which led me to interview for an internship, which I got! I spent that summer learning so much more from my mentor. I continued my internship while I finished up my senior year and was hired as a graphic designer once I graduated. I was thrilled! From there, the company I was with merged with Great Lakes and then Nelnet. I’m going on seven years now with the ‘same’ company.
What led you to join the ScholarNet marketing team?
Shortly after I was hired, I was involved in helping with a visual refresh for ScholarNet, so that helped me get to know the brand. Through the years, my role has changed, and other business lines have been added to my responsibilities, but I’ve always kept my fingers in the ScholarNet brand.
What does a typical day of doing design work for ScholarNet look like?
- Indulge in multiple cups of coffee and listen to my favorite podcast, True Crime Garage, while I work.
- Have a collaborative meeting with the ScholarNet team to see what the next project is.
- Head to the drawing board and mockup a few different designs to present to the ScholarNet team.
- ScholarNet team will then provide me with feedback and I head back to the drawing board to adjust.
- Once I receive a thumbs up on a project, you might see my design work in a blog post, video, on the website, flyer, or in our social media channels.
Which episode of True Crime Garage has been your favorite so far?
Episodes 152 and 153 – The Disappearance of Maura Murray
When you aren’t working, what are some of your favorite activities to do?
When I’m not working, I enjoy spending as much time as I can with family. I’m fortunate enough to live in the same neighborhood as my siblings’ families, so we have had many bonfires, BBQs, and wine walks.
How do you think higher education institutions can best visually engage their audiences?
I would tell them to increase their presence online. Visuals are always great, but words make a large impact too. Institutions should consider working closely with a design and marketing team to make sure their message is consistent, and they present a cohesive brand.
What was the best advice or guidance you came across when you were financing your college degree?
I went back and forth on going away to a four-year college and staying in the dorms or community college and staying at home. I decided to go to a community college, and I was fortunate enough to stay living at home with my parents and continue to save money. I registered for financial aid, but only used what I needed to cover my classes. I paid for my books myself and found most of them secondhand online. While I was in school, I worked part-time and had a paid internship my senior year – which then led to this position. I continue to use my degree every day.