photo of Shelby Ohara

MAXing Out Your Elevator Pitch

Shelby O’Hara was terrified. She knew graduation was on the horizon from Columbia College in Chicago where she would earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design. What would she do next? Did she have the necessary skills to compete in a competitive job market?

Shelby, 22, of Midlothian, received an unexpected answer to her anxious thoughts when she was selected for an Adobe Creative Cloud video advertisement and Internship through a nationwide contest. “It was so exciting to get selected because I went through a tremendous amount of emotions about graduating college, and this was the perfect segue” said Shelby.

Through the contest sponsored by Adobe, thousands of participants created elevator pitches on why they should be selected for the exclusive annual Adobe MAX Conference. It required a short graphic design on Twitter for a landing spot with impressive keynote speakers and more than 300 sessions travelling to both New York and California.

“The four of us who were selected got to shoot another video together on an elevator, actually doing an elevator pitch in New York,” said Shelby. “It was a great overall experience and a taste of the graphic arts lifestyle. I was rubbing elbows in California with more than 5,000 professionals in the industry and students nationwide, so it was nice knowing that I could be on that same level.

Shelby, now working at the Museum of Science of Industry, credits her non-traditional pathway for boosting her confidence.

“I always knew I wanted to go the community college route before going to a four year university. Selecting South Suburban College was one of the best decisions I could have made,” said Shelby, who received her Associate’s in Fine Arts from SSC. “I still gush about my time in the Art Department to this day–teachers like Sergio Gomez and Eric Tucker influenced me in so many ways and I still keep in contact with them. They want me to succeed.”

Shelby is currently dusting off her elevator pitch. She’s interviewing for design positions around the iconic Chicago museums and galleries.