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My Nicole’s Classes Story: Whitney Rhoden

A note before we begin: In April, we asked our former students to share their unique and amazing Nicole’s Classes stories with us. And share they did! Today is the first installment of our “My Nicole’s Classes Story” series, where each student will tell you in their own words (and with examples of their own work!) how Nicole’s Classes has helped them on their creative journey. Enjoy!

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I am so thankful for every last thing I have learned from Nicole’s Classes! I can’t remember exactly how I stumbled upon this golden nugget of a website, but my goodness I’d be nowhere near the place I am today without it.


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Here’s my story: I graduated college in May of 2012 with a degree in advertising and PR, I have always had a passion for sports and knew that my goal was to work in sports marketing. I started a marketing and promotions internship with the Round Rock Express minor league baseball team the spring semester of my senior year. It was there that I began to dabble in Photoshop to create small promotional graphics for company events. Everything I was doing was self taught and most definitely the hardest/longest way ever invented. At the end of the season, I was asked to join full time with the majority of my proposed responsibility being graphic design. (Wait, what?!!!)

I was nervous because I knew I was far from a graphic designer. I did know, from my little experience with the Adobe Creative Suite, that I loved design. I was sure that I wanted to learn everything that I could about graphic design and somehow make it a career… eventually. But with an offer right in front of me, I said, “Yes, sure I’ll do it!” (and learn more as I go, right?!) It was about this time that I came upon Nicole’s Classes… talk about perfect timing! My employer offered to pay for any classes I wanted to take and with the cost of each class being so reasonable, I was able to take several.

My company paid for and enrolled me in Illustrator 101, Illustrator 102, Photoshop 101, Photo 101, InDesign 101 as well as more advanced Illustrator and design courses (10 in all!).

Flash forward to today: This year I got promoted from Marketing Coordinator to Creative Marketing Director and I am now getting to make big decisions about the look of our brand EVERYWHERE. I also take care of all of our in-house design needs, create event logos, layout our playbill, put together huge sponsorship proposals and so much more! (Minor League Baseball is an interesting industry to work in, we have a small staff so everyone wears several hats.) It has been very empowering to be given so much freedom with what I do at such a young age (and especially with something I learned on the job essentially). In the midst of all of my responsibilities at my 9-5 job, I have created a business of my own designing wedding invites, logos, and so much more at Whit + Wonder. I am at a point where my endless ideas are starting to overwhelm me (in a wonderful way, of course!). As I said before, I have always wanted to work in sports, but being blindsided with this passion for graphic design really has me wanting to do my own thing full time. I have been doing a lot of work on the side and wish that I had more time to spend being extra creative for custom projects! Most recently I have been doing calligraphy and absolutely adore that too!

Below are just a few samples of my work in stationary design, logo design, and branding:

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It is crazy when I stop and think where I might be if I hadn’t taken the graphic design position and if I had never found Nicole’s Classes. THANK YOU SO MUCH NICOLE’S CLASSES TEAM!!

xo | whitney
whit-and-wonder.com

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Thanks to Whitney for sharing her Nicole’s Classes story with our readers! In just 2 short years, and on her employer’s dime, she was able to go from zero graphic design experience to running her own successful (and incredibly impressive in our opinion!) design business! Are you inspired by Whitney’s story? Start your own creative journey with Nicole’s Classes today!

  1. 1

    I love this feature! I’ve taken many classes here too and I have learned SOOOOO much. My dream is to start my own business, but for now I’ve just used my skills on my wedding and helping out my friend’s and their businesses.

  2. 2

    Congrats, Whitney!! LOVE your work and your story! I worked in the sports industry, too…and always dreamed of learning design skills. Thanks to NC, I did – and now I’m a freelancer and loving it!! :)

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