Jena Jessen (’12) had a long-time dream realized when she was hired as a designer for the Dallas Mavericks in June. In her position, Jessen is responsible for creating graphics, collateral, presentations, infographics and logos for the team. With an average home game attendance of 20,000, and more than 65 million fans internationally, designing for the Mavericks is no small job.
Jessen graduated from SMU’s Temerlin Advertising Institute (TAI) with a BA in Advertising in December 2012. During her time in TAI’s creative advertising program, she learned several valuable lessons that she has carried with her during her career:
- Keep pushing your work further until it is great
- Condition your craft
- Have a great portfolio site
Under the leadership of the TAI creative faculty, Jessen learned how to “push through the junk until [she] landed at a great idea.” She also learned that conditioning and self-discipline are critical to being successful in the industry. Jessen notes that conditioning is different from motivation, which is fleeting. Like the athletes she now designs for, Jessen conditions her craft through both work and freelance projects to make sure she is staying engaged in the discipline and growing as a professional. Having a great portfolio hosting platform to showcase work is helpful as well. Jessen recommends Cargo Collective, which she was introduced to at TAI.
Jessen’s journey to Victory Park has included stops at Dallas agencies such as MEplusYOU, where she interned, and Speck Communications, where she served as a full time Art Director. She credits her time with these agencies, as well as the knowledge and skills she learned at the Temerlin Advertising Institute, to her landing the position with the Mavericks.
Jessen also serves as the Creative Chair for Ad2Dallas, an affiliate of AAF Dallas, whose mission is to strengthen the skills and connections of Dallas advertising, marketing and public relations professionals age 32 years and younger. For more information on Ad2Dallas, including upcoming events, visit: http://aafdallas.org/ad2dallas/.