Hannah Spearman, who graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Graphic Design and a minor in Business in spring 2015, is using the skills she learned as a student in her position as the unit marketing coordinator for ENMU Dining by Sodexo.
She is in charge of all marketing for Sodexo at ENMU, from informing students about how to get meal plans, the benefits of having them and how to make the most of them, to managing the dining website and social media platforms.
"I see myself as somewhat of a brand manager for ENMU Dining Services. I work with all of the other Sodexo managers to make sure we are giving our customers quality service at all times while maintaining the high standards customers have come to respect from Sodexo," she said.
She plans and helps host special dining events in the Campus Union for students, staff and faculty to enjoy throughout the year, including the Hispanic Heritage Buffet every fall and the Stone Steakhouse steak night. These events are Hannah's favorite part of her job.
"I enjoy hosting the special events the most. That's not so surprising because as a student on a meal plan, these were my favorite events to attend as well," she explained. "I love seeing the enjoyment our guests get when they are trying a special, new menu item that they wouldn't have gotten to try elsewhere and finding that they actually like that taste."
She found that ENMU helped her prepare for her career by giving her the right tools to succeed.
"As an artist, the tools you use can really define your body of work and the career path you take. ENMU prepared me for my career by giving me access to the same tools that I would use in the real world.
"The Art and Anthropology Building is spectacular and has everything a creative person could want to use to learn to hone their skills in their chosen craft. From a wonderfully lit painting studio to computer labs filled with iMac computers, this building really gives you the opportunity to learn anything you would want in an artistic or creative profession. It is because of this great workspace that I feel prepared to go out into the workforce confident in my skills and knowledge."
She picked graphic design as a major due to a lifelong love of art. Every year of school leading up to college, she took at least one art class as an outlet to relieve stress so she would have "something to look forward to in my day. When it came time to choose a major, I couldn't imagine myself being happy working a job where I couldn't create things every day. I love language and communication, and graphic design pairs visual art and communication together in a neat package."
Hannah grew up in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Her mother, Tara, is a materials coordinator at Carlsbad Medical Center, and her father, Damon, is a district manager at Pico Propane. Her younger sister, Madeline, graduated with a bachelor's degree in animal and dairy science with an emphasis in production and management from ENMU in spring 2018.
Hannah chose to attend Eastern because of the small class sizes. "Having a relationship with my teachers was very important to me," said the graphic design major, who graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors.
She also found that the cost of tuition was important. "I was really fortunate to get the Green and Silver Presidential Scholarship because I graduated with zero student loan debt."
Hannah said that her experience at ENMU was something she "couldn't get anywhere else. When reflecting on that time, I think about late nights working on homework with groups of friends. Seeing comedians that ASAB brought on campus, like Andrew Schulz. I think his performance made me laugh harder than I ever have in my life. Countless hours in the Mac lab, ceramics lab and jewelry shop. All of the amazing wind symphony performances I attended. I don't think there was a single concert that didn't give me the chills. Saturdays in the Mac lab competing in Command X. The AIGA trips to Dallas to tour design firms and art museums."
The Greyhound Grad was involved in the AIGA ENMU Chapter and was an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi. She received the "Excellence in Graphic Design" award for 2012-13 and 2013-14.
The unit marketing coordinator previously worked in a t-shirt shop in Carlsbad on and off for two years. She helped make shirts for sports teams and cut vinyl graphics for cars, banners and signs. She briefly worked for Signman Signs in Portales before getting a job as a marketing intern for Sodexo in 2013.
While she was part-time in that position, she worked remotely for Sodexo University's Creative Services. In that role, she helped other unit marketing coordinators around the country design marketing collateral for meal plans and special events at other Sodexo accounts.
"The biggest project I got to work on in that position was a large series of National Food Days, like National Donut Day and National Cheese Lovers Day," she explained. "These pieces are used on dining websites and locally at Sodexo units all around the United States. I am very proud of that series."
Her hobbies include playing slow pitch softball (which she has done since age five), crafting and making things. "From a set of patio furniture from pallet wood to a leather watch band for my Apple watch, I love being able to create something that I know only one exists just like it in the whole world," she said.
She is also "weirdly good a fixing things, and I really enjoy it. It kind of runs in my family because my dad and grandpa can fix anything."
Hannah's career goal is to own a business utilizing her graphic design and crafting skills. Her dream is to teach maker classes. "They would be similar to the wine painting classes, but where I walk students through making something they can actually use," she explained.
Her role model is a YouTuber named Laura Kampf. She is a maker who has YouTube videos that show how she builds projects. She is also a graphic designer. "It is my dream to make money from making/building things and graphic design. She influences me by inspiring me to continue to make and create," said Hannah.
Hannah's advice to students interested in working in graphic design is to "work on your customer service skills. Graphic design does a service for your clients. Working in the food industry has taught me a lot about dealing with customers in good and bad situations. In learning to deal with those customers, I learned how to better work with clients.
"Take opportunities to understand how things work. Working in t-shirt shops helped me to learn about the production of graphic design and that insight helps me to better solve clients' problems. Don't be too critical of yourself. Everyone is an art critic so do yourself a favor and cut yourself some slack. Someone somewhere is going to like your body of work even if others don't. Don't think you don't have what it takes. If you've put in the hard work, the right opportunity will find you."