By Anais Hernandez, Apr. 19 2022
For many, thinking outside the box is a challenging task. However, for Cal Poly Pomona alumni Katie Tju and Chad Lynn, having a creative eye for design was a perk in their path to success at Monster Energy.
During their time at CPP, Tju (’21, visual communication design) and Lynn (’16, graphic design) networked their way into their current positions as category analyst and motion designer for energy drink brand, Monster Energy.
“I have the benefit of being employed now, thanks to networking from my program,” said Tju. “The reason I got the job was because we have a lot of alumni from our program that work there now. I was working closely with the head of the department, so he recommended me and put me in touch with the alumni; from there it snowballed, and I got my job.”
Tju, was born and raised in Southern California. She was an undeclared major looking for something to spark her interest when she enrolled at CPP. She mentioned that she had always been an artistic person in a different way.
“I like designing rooms or creating types of experiences, which is something I learned later on is a type of design,” stated Tju.
She started as a designer at her current job nearly a year ago but worked her way to her more creative side. Tju mentioned that her current position is interesting because she is the “visual person” behind her team. She is responsible for maintaining Monster Energy’s aesthetic and creating images, booklets, logos or presentations that Monster Energy’s data-driven team might need.
“While I was at Cal Poly, I was really involved in school. I worked at the print lab located within the art department,” said Tju. “It was another great way for me to meet people and that’s how I became close with a lot of my professors, too… it was a great way for me to network and just get to know people and feel a part of the program.”
When asked about her future plans, Tju mentioned moving on to more significant projects and hoping to dive deeper into her portfolio and create more work that inspires and is seen across the country.
Similarly, Lynn, currently holds a motion designer position at the same company. After graduating from CPP, he also had a job lined up thanks to his creativity and connections with the art department’s “Industry Night” event, where alumni join undergraduates and network.
“I love the faculty. They were inspirational and motivating. Their enthusiasm for design and art was an incredible experience for me,” stated Lynn. “I appreciated having that environment available to me and learning with the students around me, but you know, the mentorship of the faculty and their dedication to treating the students as designers is a very encouraging environment to be in.”
He mentioned that school was never easy for him; he had a late start in college, beginning his academic career in his mid-20s. Lynn shared that growing up in Walnut, he didn’t have much insight into what to do when he went to college, but he knew that he was a creative person who was drawn to designing and creating art through different mediums like music, art and building things.
“I had been drawn to this interest; I just never really had an idea of how to utilize those interests or put that motivation into something like a career. I think somewhere in my mid-20s, I was feeling really lost, unsure and really confused about my future,” said Lynn.
When he began working for Monster Energy in 2017, he was a junior print designer working in pre-production. His job primarily consisted of handling and maintaining canned art from all over the world and creating Monster Energy’s new graphic designs. Lynn was in charge of keeping color schemes and lettering in sync with the company’s original designs.
When the demand for digital content at Monster Energy arose, Lynn put the animations skills he learned at CPP to the test. After a year of creating animated content for the company, he was offered the position of motion designer.
“I enjoy my work. I’ve worked in jobs where I hated them. I made pizzas and I got yelled at as a server. I feel very fortunate that when I get up and go to work or when I sit down to do my work, I am interested in it and it’s fun to me. I love being a motion designer and I love animating!,” said Lynn.
To learn more about Tju and Lynn, and their work at Monster energy, students can visit the official Monster Energy website.
Feature image courtesy of Chad Lynn.
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