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!

Vanessa Burgett

Creative direction, graphic design, interactive design

Associate in Applied Science

Graphic Design


Hometown: Deerfield IL
Year graduated: 2003
Currently working at: Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

How does it feel to be a professional designer:
It's a very energizing profession to always be seeking out interesting solutions to then see your work in context. There is also constant exploration and looking to discover fresh perspectives. What's exciting as a professional is seeing the many different roles a designer can take on within a team, challenging the traditional scope of what it means to be a graphic designer.

How do you like your job:
I love being part of a talented creative team and the constant development that results from the merging of ideas. It's very rewarding to be part of a small team too since you're able to take on an active role in the overall creative process.

How did you get this job:
Waiting. I had heard a lot about Krannert Center's philosophies and I knew I wanted to be a part of that kind of environment. When a job opening became available, I took the leap.

What was the most exciting project you've worked on since graduation:
The Champaign-Urbana Micro-Urban video and the ELLNORA Guitar Festival website.

What were some of the most important things you learned while at Parkland:
To integrate sketching into your process no matter how painful it may be and to draw inspiration from a multitude of disciplines.

What do you wish you would have done differently when you were at Parkland:
I wish I would have put a lot more effort into my student projects. Your creativity can really thrive without the pressure of real-world clients and deadlines. I wish I had seen each project as more of an opportunity to really test my range as a designer.

Who is your favorite designer and why:
Hillman Curtis because of his informal design training. He proves that the development of your design skills can continue once you’re out of school.

What is your favorite typeface and why:
I like light sans serif fonts because they have a certain casual elegance to them like Avenir but I also like the playful kitsch that can be achieved with a serif like Jubilat.

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