Penn College Degree Leads to Visible Success ‘Down the Road”
Ever feel that success is passing you by? For one Pennsylvania College of Technology graduate, it is and it’s among the highest tributes she could receive.
Traveling to and from her job as a graphic designer with Weis Markets, Trisha (Corey) Herrick gets to see her work on the rear of the grocery chain’s trucks rumbling along area roadways.
“How fun to drive down the highway and see your design right in front of you,” said the Sunbury resident, whose latest project includes Valentine’s Day messages that playfully direct motorists to buy flowers or confections for their special someones.
“I love creating ads that are direct, yet so simple and fun,” she said. “It takes time to come up with some of the simplest lines on the back of the trucks, you read, “Repeat after me “¦ I’d like a dozen roses please.’ Usually, it means stepping back and looking at the big picture.” Another of her designs carrying the slogan, “Hand dipped for your sweetie” depicts a heart-shaped strawberry tantalizingly dripping with chocolate.
“The hardest part about being a designer is nobody knows who you are, but they see your work everywhere,” she explained. “It’s bittersweet.”
Lacking the formal tools to cultivate her love of art and design, Herrick came to Penn College fresh from Milton Area Senior High School and enrolled in the advertising art associate-degree major for the Fall 2004 semester.
“My first class was with (David M. Moyer, instructor of graphic design) and I remember he scared the living daylights out of me,” she said. “But he, along with many of the other professors, made a huge impact on my future. It was a challenging two years for me; I had to learn how to take criticism and not fall in love with the first thing I designed.”
It was a personally trying time, as well.
“I was a passive, shy person, and, after those two years, I had learned how to stand on my own two feet not only as a designer, but as a young adult,” Herrick recalled. “I have so many memories of late nights working hard on projects, not thinking the best thoughts about my professors. I was a commuter and worked myself through college; it was extremely difficult, but I would do it all over again.”
During one of those classes, Brian A. Flynn, an assistant professor of graphic design, encouraged his students to gain as much learning as they could. So, after she completed two years in advertising art, Herrick began furthering her education in the area of marketing.
“I worked hard and crammed a total of six years of school into four and a half years,” she said. “In December 2008, I graduated from Penn College with my associate’s in advertising art and my bachelor’s in marketing. Two days after graduation, I started my job with Weis Markets.”
At Weis, Herrick and another designer handle the majority of the advertisements that the public regularly sees: newspaper ads and free-standing coupon inserts, billboards, in-store posters and window signs, as well as advertisements on buses and in programs for athletic and other special events.
“We bounce ideas off of each other,” she said of her co-worker. “Designing is fun, it really makes all of the critiques in college worth it.”
Herrick was the designer for Weis’ “Get Grillin'” program that launched in April and recently created a children’s coloring and activity book for the Weis Healthy Bites nutrition initiative.
“You name it, I probably have done something like it,” she said. “It was so much fun creating a coloring book and activity book. My style of design is more on the witty and fun side. I love color and color theory, and I love how color communicates in ads.”
In addition to her “day job,” Herrick does freelance work for Brookside Ministries Church in Shamokin Dam where she and her newlywed husband, Michael, are youth leaders as well as for area businesses, self-employed workers and nonprofit organizations.
“I’ve worked for Weis for over a year now and I am extremely happy,” she said. “In October, I got married to my best friend and bought a house in the area. All those long hours commuting from place to place finally paid off. Now, I work in the same town I live in and I love it. This is not your typical success story for a 23-year-old but it is my success story because I believed I could do it and God gave me the strength to succeed.”
Herrick is quick to credit her alma mater’s role in that success, as well.
“Penn College really paved the way for me. It was challenging and, to be honest, I heard some crazy horror stories about finding a job,” she said. “But you know what? Even in the bad economy, I found a great job it more or less just fell into my lap. So I encourage any current students to never think the worst. Believe the best and be amazed!”