Notable Alumni

Notable alumni of Parkland College.  We consider anyone who completed a degree, started an educational journey, or earned job skills through Parkland, a proud alumnus!

Sarah Powers

Graphic design

Associate in Applied Science

Graphic Design



Hometown: West Dundee, IL
Year graduated: Didn't graduate! But stopped attending Parkland after the Spring 2016 semester
Currently working at: The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Creative Services Studio

How does it feel to be a professional designer?
Very exciting! Sometimes I can't believe how lucky I am to be doing what I do. I feel an overwhelming sense of pride when I see my artwork out in the community.

How do you like your job?
I LOVE my job. I can honestly say that it's the best job I've ever had. I get to work along side people who share the same passions for beautiful things as I do in a place that holds a great deal of nostalgic value to me. My attachment to Krannert Center makes everything I do feel all the more worthwhile because I'm doing it for a place that I love and care about deeply.

How did you get this job?
I found the listing on, and started preparing my materials right away. I hardly had anything prepared for a professional presentation since I was still taking classes at Parkland, so I quickly put together a personal website with an online portfolio, mounted my favorite pieces on foam board, redesigned my resume, and hoped for the best! I was called for an interview a few weeks later, and about two weeks after that, was offered the job!

What was the most exciting project you've worked on since graduation?
In this position, I get to work with different performing arts departments from the University to design posters and program art for their performances. This has probably been the most exciting series of projects I've worked on since my time at Parkland. I'm lucky enough to get a lot of creative freedom to express my interpretation of the performance. It's been a very rewarding project.

What do you wish you would have done differently when you were at Parkland?
Oh gosh. Usually, I can always think of some answer to this question, but honestly, I truly believe I did everything exactly as I meant to. I sought out every opportunity to learn and be active in the community, took classes outside of my required coursework, made lasting friendships — both personal and professional, and above all, treated every class and project like I was working in the "real world." In my mind, that's the only way to prepare yourself for the professional expectations of the job market. By holding my personal standards as high as I could, I came out of Parkland with a bombshell of a portfolio and an unquenchable thirst to be the best.

What were some of the most important things you learned while at Parkland?
Design-wise: copy and paste is your best friend to avoid stupid spelling and grammar errors, learn to work with your client, not against them, always keep learning the latest techniques and trends — stay sharp.

Who is your favorite designer and why?
My favorite designer is Jason Munn. I feel that I have a very similar style in that I like to convey fairly complicated ideas as simplistically as I possibly can. I live and breath for that "ah-hah" moment.

What is your favorite typeface and why?
It's so hard to choose! I tend to gravitate towards minimalistic sans-serif typefaces like Avenir, but also love working with decorated type when appropriate.

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