Student workers at Oklahoma State University have great opportunities to excel, just ask graphic design senior, Moriah Hengst. Hengst, who joined the College of Arts and Sciences Outreach team in 2016, was able to jump in and add to her skill set and her portfolio in a short 12 months.
“I loved having the opportunity to work for my college,” Hengst said. “I started in August 2016 and immediately was able to start creating posters, brochures and meet other design needs.”
Like many student worker positions, the graphic design position in CAS Outreach had many assignments, but Hengst was able to take on new roles that she didn’t expect.
“While in Outreach, the main graphic designer took another position and during the 3-month transition from one graphic designer to the next, I handled everything,” Hengst said. “It gave me a great experience of what the real world was going to be like, but in a friendly and patient environment.”
Hengst always knew she loved art. She grew up in a small town in California with her parents. Her mother has memories of her organizing building blocks by the color of the rainbow rather than building with them. From that point, her interest only grew. Hengst was homeschooled until her junior year of high school when her family moved to Oklahoma.
Upon arriving, Hengst concurrently enrolled at Tulsa Community College and started to explore classes that incorporated her passion.
“I took drawing classes growing up and always took an interest in art,” Hengst said. “My mom saw the graphic design classes at TCC and suggested I take them. I originally had no idea what ‘Graphic Design’ meant, but as soon as I started taking the classes, I loved it. I like to make art for a reason, and graphic design was making art to solve a problem and that’s what I love about it.”
After visiting campus, she knew she wanted to move to Stillwater and pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design. With the Finish Orange program, she was able to finish lower division classes at TCC, and transfer them to OSU seamlessly.
Although it was difficult being away from her family, Hengst found ways to adapt. She skypes home weekly, and she’s thankful she found a community in Stillwater. “My first week here I joined the Baptist Collegiate Ministry, or the BCM, and that is where I met my boyfriend,” Hengst said. “They have a great living community where I am a leader, Light Bearers, and the rent money goes to support missions.”
Hengst wasted no time getting involved in the graphic design program at OSU. Her work made an impression on professor Phil Choo, who teaches graphic design courses.
“Professor Choo told me about the student worker graphic design position at CAS Outreach,” Hengst said. “I immediately thought, ‘What does CAS Outreach do?’ I did some homework and saw the online classes, community involvement and the study abroad opportunities that Outreach provided for students and I really liked everything they were doing.”
During her time in Outreach, Hengst was assigned a pretty large project. She was to design 25 icons, one for every department in the College of Arts and Sciences that encompassed the department’s purpose. Within a few short months, she designed them all and now takes pride in seeing them in the CAS branding around campus.
“It’s incredible the opportunities I had working for Outreach,” Hengst said. “Doing the design work made me realize I wanted to add a marketing minor. I was creating all of these pieces, but it made me wonder if it would be effective, so I added a marketing minor to better understand the inner workings of marketing.”
Hengst graduates in May 2018 and has added a great skill set and more passion for graphic design. Because of her work with Outreach, she has also been able to add to her portfolio.
“I love the graphic design program and how it is small and connected,” Hengst said. “It is kind of like family and it is so fun to be around other people that share your passions. OSU is a great place to be passionate.”