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I Saw the Future and it’s Bright

Last Wednesday, we popped in to the UCLA Design Media Arts department for their annual career day and discovered groundbreaking talent.

On an early evening last Wednesday, I popped in to the UCLA Design Media Arts department (my alma mater) for their now annual career day. The career day featured about 20 representatives from a range of creative companies (Google, Facebook, JPL, etc.), looking to review portfolios, hand out advice and potentially hire these design students.

This is the second year in which we (Use All Five) have participated in this event, so it’s extremely rewarding to see the growth and shifts in students from one year to the next.

The first thing that struck me about these students, compared to last year, was the passion and fire for programming. These kids knew how to develop and program in Javascript, Processing, CSS, HTML, Unity, and PHP. If they didn’t know how to program yet, or they felt weak in their programming skills, they said they were going to push themselves harder in their free time to master it.

On top of this passion for programming, most of the kids were fluent in another creative talent. I saw beautiful photography, funny/quirky videos with perfect lighting and beautiful cinematography, as well as illustrations that made me smile.

Of course, both last year and this year, the kids had a very strong design background: typography skills, understanding of form, layouts, colors and more. I’m impressed and amazed with where Casey Reas, Chandler McWilliams, and chair Henri Lucas are taking the department. It’s extraordinary and groundbreaking, compared to the other design and art schools around the country.

What’s being created at UCLA DMA are the perfect creatives. You have students who can design and program a website or a mobile app, but also design and compile a book of your writings. This high level of creative prowess and concepting, with an extreme knowledge of digital possibilities, will serve large dividends to these future students.

They’re not perfect yet. They still have a lack in selling themselves and their ideas, but that doesn’t scare me, they’ll learn that the hard way – by joining the real world and being forced to fight. I hope I see some of these individuals launch their own start-ups or agencies, like we did when we graduated 5 years ago.

Keep up the great work everybody!


Levi Brooks is the CEO/Co-founder of Use All Five.
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