TSTC Student Q&A with Luke Mawhirter of Woodway

(WACO) – Luke Mawhirter, 22, of Woodway is a Visual Communication Technology major at Texas State Technical College who is scheduled to graduate in spring 2018.

Mawhirter graduated in 2014 from Robinson High School, where he was active in theater and the National Honor Society.

Have you always been interested in the arts? “Ever since I was a kid, I have liked to draw. Art has always been part of my life. When we got Photoshop, I started playing with it in fifth grade. It’s always been pretty natural. Technology has come easy to me. I have always enjoyed working with computers. The technology helps when doing visual arts.”

How did you enjoy growing up in the Waco area? “I have always loved Waco. My mother will say it’s small but not too small and big but not too big. There is so much attention on Waco. It’s always been a friendly place. It’s been cool to see the re-emergence of Waco.”

How did you become interested in TSTC? “I had heard about TSTC in high school. It was a known thing that it was here. I had friends that were taking classes there. What drew me to it was its simplicity. It’s so straightforward.”

Do you work on campus? “I am a work-study student. Sometimes, I help with business cards and talk about designs with the Creative Services staff. I do a lot of folding and organizing. I like to see it as a study thing. I have learned how to work a lot of the machinery. I was able to use this as my internship class. It’s been incredibly valuable.”

What is your career goal after graduation? “My main goal is to be an in-house graphics director.”

What advice would you give to high school students? “Don’t limit yourself. Explore every option that is available to you. Know your value and worth and pursue those things about you.”

Graphic design jobs are expected to rise to 278,800 through 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Texas currently has more than 12,000 graphic design jobs, with more than 100 of those in the Waco area. The annual mean wage in Texas for graphic designers is $48,360, according to the federal labor statistics bureau.

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