Through Lewis and Clark’s 30 and Out program for students who already have a degree but want to continue their education, Chad Stutz, 26, of Alton was able to find his true calling and follow it to a new and fulfilling career path.
Stutz graduated from Alton High School in 2002. In 2004, he earned an associate in science degree from Lewis and Clark Community College, then transferred to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to study business and marketing. He graduated from SIUE with a bachelor’s degree in 2007, and was working in retail at the time.
“It was a good job and I had the opportunity to move forward with the company, but I decided it wasn’t what I had wanted,” Stutz said.
So he turned toward Lewis and Clark to pursue his other interests. There, he found the college’s 30 and Out program in Computer Graphics. Through 30 and Out, he was able to earn his associate in applied science in computer graphics simply by taking 30 approved credit hours in his major. Because many of the classes were offered at night, he was able to fit school into his schedule while working full time, and finished in the spring of 2010.
Even before he completed the program, Stutz was hired as a web designer for Riverbender.com, a job he loves.
“I knew I liked working with computers, designing, and marketing management. After I received my bachelor’s degree in marketing, I wanted to branch off and work on another area I found interesting – graphic design,” Stutz said. “The classes I took at L&C provided an excellent foundation of knowledge and skills essential in my new career, and they transferred directly to the workplace. The classes covered a lot of the same programs I use at work, so it has been a smooth transition.”
Stutz aspires to continue working in online media, and someday hopes to tie his management background into his career has well.
“I love making designs to help businesses succeed. Whether it’s designing a website or an advertisement, I want to make something people enjoy looking at while still getting the message across. Anytime I do this it is a shining moment for me,” he said.
Online media is a growing market for today’s businesses.
“Almost any business nowadays not only has its own website, but also markets itself through a variety of media outlets. Graphic designers will be needed to meet the demands of these businesses,” he said.