Two recent Moore graduates and long-time best friends, Brianna Hayes ’20 and Angela Palma ’20, have accepted job offers two months after graduation.
Hayes, who graduated with a BFA in Art Education, will be working as an art teacher with students in kindergarten through second grade at a charter school in Philadelphia. Palma, a graduate of Moore's BFA in Illustration program, will be creating illustrations for babies’ clothing for Carter’s, a major American designer and marketer of children's apparel, at the company headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
The two friends—who share a love of plants but differ in how often they change their hairstyles, according to Hayes—met in third grade in Pittsburgh, PA, and have shared a lifetime of education together.
Landing a job during the COVID-19 pandemic was “a huge relief,” said Hayes. Both attribute their successes to a bit of luck and a lot of hard work.
“It feels almost powerful,” said Palma. “I think that is a silly way of saying it, but I am really proud of the both of us for leaving our hometown, working hard throughout our time at Moore, and getting jobs.”
Hayes is looking forward to how the opportunity to design, implement and visualize her curriculum will inform how she approaches pedagogy with older learners. Her career goal is to teach at an arts-centered high school or in a college setting.
“Observing artists of any age can inform how humans think about representation and material manipulation; I'm really interested in seeing how these students will develop as we work through the year,” said Hayes.
Palma’s job offer became a unique surprise for another special person in her life.
“I got the call with my Carter’s job offer on my mom’s birthday,” Palma recounted. “So, not only did I end up giving my mom a great gift, but I was also at my aunt’s house and my family all started yelling at the same time while I was still on the phone.
While the two best friends came to Moore from Pittsburgh, they didn’t specifically aim to go to the same college. Both felt that Pittsburgh lacked arts-focused colleges, and Palma felt especially left out, as many colleges in the area lacked illustration programs that met her needs. After touring various Philadelphia art schools during a weekend trip in 2015, Moore immediately stuck out.
“I owe a lot to finding colleges outside of Pittsburgh to Brianna’s mom,” Palma said, “because she scheduled tours with a couple of Philly schools, and took both Brianna and I on a road trip to visit them all!”
Both credit many Moore experiences, in and outside of the classroom, for preparing them for the job world. Highly specified classes, such as Illustration for Children and Special Populations, gave Palma and Hayes glimpses into their career paths. Hayes also notes the value of Foundation classes at Moore, a series of courses that emphasize having strong bases in drawing and design essentials.
“I would not be able to teach art-making if I myself had not been taught it, and I believe that those critical foundation classes have informed my ability to make art in multiple mediums,” said Hayes.
Palma said Moore’s internship program provided the new alums with real-world experience. She interned at Cider Mill Press in Kennebunkport, Maine, last year.
“I was working within a design team there, and teamwork and collaboration is an essential part of being an assistant graphic designer,” she said.
Palma and Hayes offered advice to current students.
“Be very aware of the resources the Career Center has to offer,” said Palma. “The only reason I knew Carter’s was hiring was because the Career Center had a recruiter from there come in to talk to us.”
Hayes echoed her sentiment, encouraging students to apply for as many opportunities as possible during their time at Moore.
“The greatest thing about Moore is that while it is very small, its opportunities are abundant,” said Hayes. “Take advantage of that.”
KEEPING IN TOUCH
Outside of the stress of job searching, Hayes and Palma have embraced the importance of staying in touch with friends amid social distancing needs.
“My closest friends from Moore and I try to host frequent game nights where we video chat and play Jackbox games,” said Hayes.
These virtual hangouts have also interestingly prepared Palma for her big move.
“This inevitably will be a big part of how I stay in touch with my friends once I move to Atlanta,” said Palma.
See more of their work on Instagram: