TSTC Alumnus Designing His Career

(WACO) – Nathanael Hamilton of Longview works daily with visual appeal.

Hamilton, 28, is a customer service representative working with vending machine inventory at the Airgas Store in Longview. He sets up hardware and software for 11 vending machines filled with protective equipment and welding supplies. Hamilton also does technical support on the machines.

“Customer service skills help me to network with people while the hands-on experiences help me enjoy my work,” he said.

But Hamilton studied a different side of design – Digital Media Design – when he was a student at Texas State Technical College in Waco. He graduated in 2012 with the program’s associate degree. Digital Media Design graduates use customer service skills to work alongside clients and companies to analyze and research targeted audiences for graphics, logos, fonts and other aspects of design.

Hamilton said his workdays start at his desk, where he checks emails and gathers items for vending machines. Most of his work is done at businesses that have accounts with Airgas.

“He’s a critical part of the team,” said Jeffrey White, an Airgas account manager. “Right now he’s our only vending solutions guy in Longview. He fills the machines, troubleshoots them, and if there’s anything wrong, he helps us with those. Our service area goes from Longview to Tyler to the Louisiana border.”

Hamilton grew up in DeKalb in Bowie County and had what became a lifelong interest in creative mediums, like animation.

“I have always been fascinated with the idea of creating something that people enjoy, such as video games and films,” he said. “Some people read books for stories, but I watch films and play video games that are story-driven because I am a visual person.”

Hamilton graduated in 2007 from DeKalb High School.

“When I was in high school, I was in charge of a novel video yearbook that encompassed elementary, middle and high school images set to music,” he said. “Being able to be responsible for different stages of media translates into my current job by allowing me to multitask.”

He said in the future he wants to take the skills he has learned at Airgas and design video games and films.

“Don’t be afraid to learn things that are outside your degree plan because you never know when it may come in handy,” Hamilton said. “I have also learned basic welding skills, computer science basics and some painting skills.”

Though the associate degree program in Digital Media Design is no longer offered at the Waco campus, it is offered at the Abilene and Harlingen campuses. For more information on the program, go to tstc.edu/programs/DigitalMediaDesign.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.