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Graphic Design Alumni

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Ali Croft
BFA Graphic Design and Minor in Marketing, 2008

Ali Croft loves good food, spending time with family and friends, traveling, meeting new people and watching "stupid cat videos".

She also loves design and she claims to "own up to pretty much all of the stereotypical characteristics that designers are known for."

A strong desire to do meaningful work led her to Richmond, Virginia and The Frontier Project, a consultancy that helps businesses and individuals grow by mixing the disciplines of strategy, economics, design, psychology, communications and leadership development.

Almost immediately after graduating from Appalachian, Ali moved to Richmond. One year later, she earned the title of Creative Director at The Frontier Project.

"I consider having a job (+) in a bad economy (++) that I actually love (+++++++) to be a huge accomplishment."

Getting to this point didn't happen instantly. Ali learned a lot in her initial years out of college. "My professors always stressed this, but I never really 'got it:' You will learn SO MUCH in your initial years out of college. There is so much you can't anticipate and won't understand until you're in the thick of it. Don't expect to land your dream job as soon as you graduate—you should take what you can get at first and while you're suffering through those crappy projects and/or fluorescent-lit cubicle environments, you will realize what you DON'T want. It will help you learn what's most important."

To help our students get a head start on learning what is most important, Ali offers the following advice:

Ali didn't give up. Watching a start-up company grow and playing a role in the process was extremely "exciting, scary, and gratifying" for her. You can see what Ali and the folks at The Frontier Project have been up to at their website,

September 2011

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