Jessica Baisley never took an art class in high school, but she has excelled as a graphic designer, thanks to what she learned at Adelphi.

by Cecil Harris

“I chose Adelphi because I wanted to go to a university that had an excellent art school and athletics.”—Jessica Baisley, B.F.A. ’11

She never took an art class in high school, but when Jessica Baisley, B.F.A. ’11, had the opportunity to immerse herself in the world of art and graphic design at Adelphi University, she took full advantage.

“I chose Adelphi because I wanted to go to a university that had an excellent art school and athletics,” said Ms. Baisley, who played center-midfield on the women’s soccer team.

To be accepted into Adelphi’s two-year intensive graphic design program in the College of Arts and Sciences, students must submit a portfolio of their work prior to their junior year. Ms. Baisley submitted samples of her photography that impressed many.

Baisley_work“From the minute I met her, I recognized her talent and potential,” said Dale Flashner, M.A. ’84, director of Adelphi’s graphic design program in the Department of Art and Art History. “Because of her work ethic and seriousness of purpose, she was never someone I had to push.”

At Adelphi, graphic design students are required to secure an internship during their senior year. Ms. Baisley took the initiative to contact Madison Square Garden—dubbed “the world’s most famous arena”—and became an intern in the partnership strategy department. She worked with MSG’s pro sports teams—basketball’s New York Knicks and New York Liberty and hockey’s New York Rangers—and its corporate clients, including JPMorgan Chase, to develop flyers, signage and other art for promotional events.

“Because of my interest in sports, I wanted to work at MSG and be involved with the athletic teams and find out what it takes to be in this business,” said Ms. Baisley, who had the unique thrill of seeing her artwork on The Garden’s giant LED screen.

Graphic design is not a 9-to-5 job. The hours can be long and the work quite demanding. During Ms. Baisley’s internship, she often worked events at night after a full day in the office. She also worked some evenings at Radio City Music Hall, which is owned by MSG’s parent company, Cablevision.

So impressed was MSG with her work and drive that it extended her internship. But company policy prevents MSG from offering full-time positions to interns. (They must apply for any posted job opening.) Although her time at MSG had come to an end, her career as a graphic artist continued to ascend.

After working at Topix Pharmaceuticals in West Babylon, New York, for a year and a half, Ms. Baisley joined Agency Access in 2013. Based in Hauppauge, New York, Agency Access bills itself as “the only one-stop promotional service that takes care of direct marketing for commercial photographers, illustrators, artist representatives, stock agencies and production companies.”

Ms. Baisley, who lives in Wading River, New York, on the eastern end of Long Island, returned to her alma mater on November 13, 2013, for a showing of her work at Blodgett Hall on the Garden City campus. Those attending included Adelphi President Robert A. Scott, faculty, administrators, family, friends and current graphic design students.

“I had a wonderful experience at Adelphi,” Ms. Baisley said. “I appreciated the one-on-one attention and the encouragement I received as a student. I would definitely recommend Adelphi to anybody interested in a career in graphic design.”

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