Chief Copy Editor
Tropolitan workers come from a variety of majors on campus, and they do not all end up in journalism. Many are journalism majors, but some come from the science department, the English department and even the art department. One Trop alumna in this situation was Sarah Hutto, who received a degree in graphic design at Troy University and created the graphic design editor position on the paper.
After graduating, Hutto found herself working with elves, working on an online wellness platform, working on a startup agency and, currently, working remotely for contracts.
“I feel like I have transitioned from something I was expected to do to something I really love,” she said.
Hutto knew graphic design was her passion from her high school years, as it was introduced to her by a Troy alum. Many days were spent on the computer designing pages for other people’s social media accounts such as Myspace. For her, it only made sense to carry this into college.
“I was one of the lucky ones. I knew what I wanted to do when I graduated,” she said.
“Not everyone has that.”
She said the decision to come to Troy came from a combination of a good scholarship and programs she was interested in. One of these programs was the Sound of the South Dance Line, where she danced for two years and was the captain the second year.
Hutto’s first two years were mostly spent focusing on her degree and the dance line, but in her third year she was introduced to the Tropolitan.
She credits this introduction to alumna Savannah Harrison, who was looking for a new Arts and Entertainment editor. Knowing Hutto’s background and talents in graphic design, Harrison asked her to do the job.
She was the only person on the staff with extensive design experience; therefore, she began helping with design needs on the paper.
“The weather strip was one of my crowning achievements,” she said.
Hutto continued to do the graphic designer job for the paper while also being the editor for Arts and Entertainment. According to her, this was a challenge. She juggled two jobs on the paper with school and an extra job on campus at the Writing Center. Her senior year, a thesis project was added to her workload.
“It was challenging, but very rewarding at the same time because my portfolio grew and grew,” she said.
Hutto graduated in May of 2012. She said that after graduation she was afraid of not being able to get a job, or of getting a job in a location that she wasn’t happy with. Fortunately, only two months later, she received a job with The Elf on the Shelf in Atlanta as junior graphic designer. She described her first day on the job as being like working in the North Pole.
“The first thing I saw when I walked in the doors was a large Christmas tree,” she said.
“I knew in that moment that I was in a good place.”
Every day, Hutto worked on graphics for the elves for print. She did this for two years. Next, she expanded her talents by taking a job that was strictly for online content at Sharecare. She said this was a big change because she went from working only on print products for Christmas to specifically online content for health.
“The fastest way to know you don’t like something is to be thrown into it,” she said of the job at Sharecare. She went on to say that it required too much coding and not enough designing, which was her main focus.
Recently, Hutto took a job with a soon-to-be-launched communications company, and has made another big change: she works from home. Not only that, but she is also a lead in a startup design agency. Here, Hutto is part of a team of freelance workers who handpick projects.
“This is where I am truly thriving … I am getting to work on a different project every day, a new brand every hour,” she said.
“I am getting to say ‘no’ to projects for the first time, which is a good feeling.”
Hutto is another example of a person who took what she learned from the Trop and applied it to her career, even though she wasn’t in journalism. Being in an organization on campus greatly affects a person’s future, according to her.
“Don’t be afraid to live in your own generation. This is 2015, and if 9-to-5 isn’t your thing, don’t be afraid to push new boundaries,” she said.
“Working in pajamas with my two cats is great.”