Carlo Ruiz

Graphic Design (BA) '21

What would you say has been the most surprising thing you learned at Columbia? 

The depth of creativity people can have and their accompanied personalities has been the most surprising thing at Columbia. The professors I have had the opportunity to learn from are rich with knowledge and heart. 

What experiences or courses at Columbia do you feel have been most beneficial? 

Philosophical Issues in Film was incredibly impactful and introspective. History of Graphic Communication was fascinating, but that's because I'm a history nerd. Lastly, the Design curriculum as a whole is an amazing program that compounds itself and is exactly what I needed to develop and grow as a designer.  

What are your plans for after graduation? 

I am moving to Charlotte, NC to start my career in design. I love Chicago, but it's cold and I want a yard to grow food. 

Do you have any advice for current students? 

I think it's important to recognize the rare opportunity to be a student in design. One of the few times you'll be able to have complete creative control—so take risks, be wild, don't hold back, play, and have fun. Be true to yourself. But remember you have to get a job after you've had fun.  

If you were going to sum up your experience at Columbia in one sentence, what would you say? 

Come ready to work—When you invest in yourself by putting in the time to work hard, your professors will work hard to help you. Save your money and everyone's time if you aren't going to do the work.