NYC Designer + Creative


1 Year Post-Grad


It’s amazing how much can change in just one year, I’ve gone from a design student to being a designer. My one-year post grad has been a pretty wild twelve months, with most of my energy put towards trying new things and just going with where life takes me. It was a year of stepping back and being observant of my life. Which lead me to numerous realizations and took me in many different directions that have gotten me to where I am now. I could not be more grateful for it all. No matter how confusing life has seemed, I’ve feel so strongly that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Through all my adventures and self reflection I realize that I’m ready to take the next step in my career, and that’s what I really want to focus the next few months on. Here is a brief timeline of my post-grad employment.

  • June to Aug 2018 - Head Counselor at a YMCA sleep-away camp for horseback riding (Very random but it was such a great break from the world of college, design, and the pressures of normal life.)

  • Sept 2018 - YMCA environmental educator, lived on campsite (Still very random but it was a great transition from the world of summer camp fun back to the regular world. Plus it made me realize how much I missed design.)

  • Oct 2018 to Pres - Design/Production assistant for a luxury handbag brand (Very awesome experience that has taught me so much, and it was a great step into the fashion industry)

  • Nov to Dec 2018 - Hostess at a restaurant (Not really great but it was fun to be working with people my age and make some side money)

  • Jan - Apr 2019 - Design Intern at a luxury clothing brand (Also very cool experience that taught me a lot, and I got to meet some great people and work with others my age.)

  • Currently at the luxury handbag brand.

It’s safe to say that my employment history this year was a bit — scattered. Sometimes I felt like I was pulling myself in ten thousand different directions. But looking back, it was the perfect chaotic balance of everything I needed to keep pushing forward. So for that, I am very grateful. But boy was I tired.

Some of the best parts of my past year have been the people I’ve met and connected with. At camp I was helping people and making memories, at the restaurant I was meeting people in my own town I’ve never met, at my internship I made friends and connections with people I never would have met otherwise, and at my current job I’ve gotten to be part of a team that has really made an impact on me. Outside of work, I got involved with a design non-profit and now I’m part of the core team. Each time we come together I meet such incredible people and we’re working together to make an impact with design, what a dream come true.

So I guess what I’ve realized is that once you leave school a year isn’t measured by grades, semesters, all-nighters pulled, or the countdown towards a break. A year isn’t even measured at all, you just live your life each day. There’s no “right time” or track you’re supposed to take, no checkmarks you need to pass. You just do you. And that is so liberating! It’s also equally daunting. But somehow it feels right, and that makes me very excited for the future.

To finish off this post I want to share all the things I’m proud of from the past year. Some of these personal and professional highlights have felt unreal, they make me so happy.

  • Got a job in the luxury fashion industry

  • Presented at Montclair Design Week

  • Showcased at NYCxDesign Week

  • Launched Life After Studio

  • Joined the MDW planning team

  • Learned to use a pottery wheel

  • Read 6 books

  • Worked NYFW

  • Participated in 36 Days of Type

  • Did my first freelance design project

My one year post-grad journey has come to a close. This next year is not my “2nd year post-grad”, it’s simply a year in my adult life. And that is way more exciting. I’m looking forward to everything my journey has to offer, life has a way of been unexpectedly epic.

Cheers to the future,


Renee CollinsStudio HQ