Third year Graphic Design major Ryan Patrick recalls his last minute decision to apply early to Northeastern. When he was touring the University he was impressed by the location, the curriculum, CAMD as a college, and the opportunity to enroll in classes outside of his major. “Applying early to Northeastern was a no brainer and I am really happy with my choice,” said Ryan.
Whether he is involved with class projects, extracurricular activities or working on co-op, Ryan brings a sincere level of passion to everything he does.
In Spring 2020, like most students, Ryan received many phone calls that co-op positions he applied for were no longer available due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite receiving many disappointing emails and phone calls, he was adamant that he would continue his co-op search. After exploring almost every avenue in his search, his mother informed him about a post that had been made in the Northeastern Parent’s Facebook group looking for a Graphic Design student.
Ryan pursued this opportunity and was hired as a part time Graphic Design intern for i.e. Design. With the help of his co-op advisor Jen Guillemin and Professor Ben Caras, he created an independent study co-op designing and creating sneakers. “They put a lot of trust in me throughout this process and I am very appreciative of that,” said Ryan.
This combination as a part time graphic design intern and sneaker designer allowed him to generate his own schedule and create an efficient work flow. Ryan knew going into his co-op that he wanted his work to have meaning. While working with i.e. Design, Ryan’s artistic opinion “made a significant impact on every design process and client we worked with,” Ryan explained.
In the afternoon Ryan would shift gears and begin working on his shoe designs. Although this was categorized as an independent study, Ryan was able to establish many connections in the shoe industry. He felt prepared to embark on this project independently largely because of his graphic design class, 3D Fundamentals taught by Ben Caras.
A memorable moment from the course was the final project, when he was instructed to create an interchangeable sneaker which changed styles depending on the mood. This project embodied Ryan’s passion for design.
Ryan is also one of four organizers for a Northeastern Mentorship Program called the DREAM Program. The program seeks to close the opportunity gap between low income and middle and upper class students in the Boston area. Northeastern students are paired with students ages six through about fifteen years old with the goal to provide them new experiences. Ryan was paired with BJAM. ”Being paired with BJAM for the past two years has been my most fulfilling experience at Northeastern,” explained Ryan. Ryan and BJAM have visited museums, and gone ice skating and apple picking together. Ryan has also served as a support system and role model for BJAM. “BJAM inspires me in a lot of ways,” added Ryan.
In addition to his uniquely created co-op and involvement in student organizations, Ryan is also the co-founder of his original brand, Simply Kind Company. The company’s ultimate goal is to promote other people’s stories and goals with kindness and develop their own community based on the messages around the clothing. He is currently working on the brand’s first release of two high quality sweatshirts with the company’s logo and printed on demand.
All of these experiences has taught Ryan the importance of balance and prioritizing his tasks. His work with the graphic design firm helped to provide clarity on how to assess campaigns that needed urgent attention and helped to facilitate multiple aspects throughout the day. “I’m passionate about everything I do. It doesn’t feel like work needs to get done because I want to get it done,” Ryan added.
Ryan is currently applying for his second co-op and plans to graduate from Northeastern in 2023. His Northeastern experience and applying for co-ops has taught him the power of networking and the importance of reaching out to others for guidance and advice. “People are way more supportive and willing to help than a lot of people think,” Ryan said. “When you come to Northeastern, take advantage of the University’s willingness to help its students,” he added.
To view Ryan’s portfolio, please click here.