Desmond Thomas

Desmond Thomas, ’14

Social Media Manager, 2013-2014

If you could sum up your experience in Design Works in two words, what would it be?

Growth and fun.

What was your first memory of working at Design Works? 

It was the Union wide meeting, we had to sit through all these boring videos and take a group picture. I didn’t know anyone, but I remember sitting with Nicole and she introduced me to Jonathan and I thought he was really funny.

What have you done since leaving Design Works and graduating from UNT? / What do you do now?

Right after I graduated, I got two internships. One was a theater center in Austin called The Long Center as a marketing and operations intern. The other was at a social media agency at Social Distillery, which handles smaller accounts and it was really great. I finally got a full time position at Capital Factory. Over the last few years, I have gotten some great experience in VIP coordination and now I work on brand activations for large companies.

How did your time at Design Works prepare you for the future?

I think the big part was learning how to translate my skills from a theatre degree for a business setting. I didn’t realize how many skills were applicable. A theatre degree taught me how to speak well, present myself in certain situations, and communicate with audiences to sell ideas. Starting with social media, I built a solid marketing foundation for myself to get me ready for where I am now.

What about Design Works had the greatest impact on you?

Really learning how to be detail oriented. I tend to go with the flow and be creative, but I lacked focus on details. Working at Design Works really helped me learn how to pay more attention to details and focus, which I’ve carried with me through my career.

What was your favorite moment at Design Works?

I think it was whenever we finished the UNT rap video. After seeing the kind of traction we had with it, it made me see the kind of creative team that I was working with. I really felt like I was a part of something that was able to create content that people could enjoy.

Favorite project you worked on?

I’d say either the rap anthem. It was not only fun to write, but also fun to coordinate. I also liked the Mockingjay preview that we made when we were screening the movie. That was really fun to work on. I enjoyed the challenge of making the preview look similar to the actual movie.

What do you wish other people knew about Design Works?

I wish people knew that we could do anything! We have a robust set of skills and I wish more people knew the scope of what we do.

Thing you miss about Design works? Thing you miss about UNT?

So many things! I miss the overall community of UNT and Denton. It has a small, close-knit feeling. I also really loved the food. We have a lot of great local food places that people don’t appreciate enough. I miss the people. I feel like I’ve learned so much from everyone I worked with in so many ways. Being able to learn from some really talented people was really great.

What’s your spirit animal?

My spirit animal is a baby elephant.

What is your brain food?

My brain food is cold-brew.

What’s on your playlist?

Right now, I listen to Selena Gomez, Carly Rae Jepsen, Frank Ocean, Mitski, and Tears for Fears.

What’s in your bag?

Gym clothes, chargers for laptop and phone, a book, a notebook, and some headphones.

What’s your favorite color?

Blue.

What is your favorite thing about your job now?

My favorite thing about my job know is that I am able to work with so many different marketing departments with so many large companies. I think that has been such a great opportunity. I’ve worked with WalMart, Amazon, and other large corporations. I’ve learned their marketing plans and drive.

Advice for current students?

Always go for something with as much passion as possible, even if you’re not sure if it’ll work out in the long-term. I think that if you’re doing something and you’re doing it for the right reasons, you’re going to get to where you need to be no matter what.

Caleb Ward

Caleb Ward, ’14
Video Editor/Producer from 2012-2014

Caleb

 

If you could sum up your experience in Design Works in two words, what would it be?

Opportunity and fun

What was your first memory of working at Design Works? 

My very first project was an overview video for the UNT Union. We had this little-bitty closet on the top floor of a dark building, with no windows, and it smelled like fifty years worth of must and mold. You combine that with the fact that it’s kind of quiet up there. We were doing very creative work while other people were doing accounting work and doing things that were completely necessary for running the business, but it was a weird vibe. We did the best we could with what we had. We did incredibly awesome things from a closet.

What have you done since leaving Design Works and graduating from UNT? / What do you do now?

I got a job as a marketing coordinator at Premium Beat. When I started that job, I thought I was going to be ill prepared, but the opportunities I had working for the Union really did prepare me. From there, I worked my way up the company and became the content manager for Shutterstock. Using my knowledge from the Union, I was able to thrive there. After I left that job, I moved on to work at a company called School of Motion. We create content for motion designers. All of these jobs would not have been possible for me had I not worked at the Union first.

How did your time at Design Works prepare you for the future?

Back when we were in the closet-office, we had the idea to do a little bit of professional development. In times when we didn’t have many projects going on and had some down time, we worked together on our resumes. We helped each other with putting together portfolios, talked about how to email people well, and updated our LinkedIn profiles with professional headshots and other details. Everybody in the office did that. 

What about Design Works had the greatest impact on you?

There were fantastic leaders who offered amazing opportunities and made it fun to be a part of. There was still structure, like any other business, but there was never a day where I wasn’t excited about going to work. I never had that dread because we were doing incredibly fulfilling work and we were helping people along the way.

What was your favorite moment at Design Works?

We released the UNT rap anthem on a Tuesday or something, in the morning. I left for class, came back, and had 14 views. We hit refresh and it had 100 views. Hit refresh and it said 300+, because at the time YouTube didn’t have live analytics. We watched as people started sharing it out. Though we couldn’t see how many views we had, we could see people sharing the video online and literally hundreds of people were commenting and sharing it. Later that evening, KERA radio station called us up and wanted to do an interview. We came back to the office the next day and the video had 40 thousand views. That was one of my favorite moments. That was my favorite project.

What was the most important lesson you learned during your time at Design Works?

It is more important to do good work with people you enjoy than it is to do incredible work at the expense of relationships with others.

What do you wish other people knew about Design Works?

I would want other people to know that Design Works isn’t a random print shop. It’s a creative place where incredible things are happening that reaches beyond just UNT. People leave from there and go on to do things that affects the world. It allows students to fulfill their dreams and pursue what they came to college for. Design Works offers experience that is relevant and interesting.

Thing you miss about Design works? Thing you miss about UNT?

I miss how easy it is to make friends at UNT because everyone is so friendly. That is really a blessing you don’t realize until you’re not at UNT anymore.

What’s your power/What’s your spirit animal?

My spirit animal is a mythical dragon.

What is your brain food?

My brain food is mediation.

What’s on your playlist?

While I work, I listen to podcasts, specifically Disney World related podcasts. My favorite one is Hardcore History. Stuff You Should Know is good.

What’s in your bag?

In my bag, I have a to-do list, Mac Book Pro, water bottle, 3 pairs of headphones, Emergen-C, and a cool new fountain pen.

What’s your favorite color?

My favorite color is light blue.

What is your favorite thing about your job now?

My favorite thing about my job now is because I get to help hundreds of thousands of people. My content is inspiring people to create, which makes the world a more beautiful place.

Advice for current students?

Don’t think that your school work is what gets you your job. It’s not going to be your GPA and it’s not going to be your ability to write essays. It’s going to be your passion and drive. Don’t sit around waiting for a job offer. Follow your passion and find experience right now while in school. If you do good work, good things will happen.

21 Things That Are As Old As UNT21

This year’s incoming class of Freshmen is the class of 2021. Using a bit of simple math (and, mostly, common knowledge), we can assume this class consists of 17 to 19 year olds. For argument’s sake, let’s average that number at 18 and say they were born in 1999.

1999. Here’s your blast to the past! From pop-culture to technology, we have come up with a list of 21 things that are as old as the freshmen class!

1. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

In the US, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire first aired on ABC with Regis Philbin as the host. This was the time when the phrase, “Is that your final answer?”, became an iconic quote.

2. Bluetooth 1.0

Believe it or not, the first Bluetooth device made its debut in July of 1999. It wasn’t extremely popular because many customers struggled to get it to connect properly to their electronic devices.

3. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Since there hadn’t been a Star Wars film since 1983, this first installment of the three-part prequel was the highest grossing film of the year. Action figures and games from the Star Wars universe increased in popularity.

4. Britney Spear’s album, …Baby One More Time

This album still stands as one of the bestselling albums of all time, with 30 million copies sold worldwide. And it probably stands as the most iconic, as anyone from any generation knows the words to the songs …Baby One More Time and (You Drive Me) Crazy.

5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Within three months of each other, these books were published in 1999, continuing the story of the “Boy Who Lived.” J. K. Rowling’s book series became a worldwide phenomena after these two books.

6. The Matrix

We have gone 18 years making references and jokes to The Matrix. It’s popularity is well-deserved, considering the fact that it grossed $460 million dollars and won 4 Academy Awards.

7. Super Smash Bros.

In both North America and Japan, this Nintendo fighting game was released for the Nintendo 64. It featured some of our favorite and most beloved characters from the Nintendo franchise like Mario, Bowser, Samus, Donkey Kong, Kirby, Pikachu, and Link.

8. Apple iBook

The early years of laptops were all about the “Clamshell” aesthetic. Yahoo!, AOL, Ask Jeeves, and even MySpace were popular forms of communicating and getting information.

9. Napster

Napster was introduced to the public in the summer of that year. Those were the good ol’ days of “peer to peer” file sharing. These MP3 files were the tracks on a hand-held MP3 player, which rivaled with the portable CD player at the time.

10. SpongeBob SquarePants

This beloved show that has taken pop-culture by storm was televised in July of 1999 on Nickelodeon. It quickly became a worldwide favorite and soon had movies, merchandise, and, eventually, memes. These anthropomorphic animal characters don’t seem to be going out of style any time soon.

11. Family Guy

The show premiered on the Fox network on January 31, 1999, just after Super Bowl XXXIII and was canceled on February 14, 2002. This wasn’t the last we’d see of the Griffin family though. Strong DVD sales and reruns prompted Fox to revive the show and new episodes of Family Guy have been consistently airing since May 1, 2005.

12. WWE Smackdown

The program launched as WWF Smackdown on the then UPN Network (now the CW Network) and the bottom line is that shared with the world, the one and only Stone Cold Steve Austin.

13. Futurama

The show about the pizza-delivery boy that is accidentally frozen and wakes up 1,000 years in the future began in 1999 before canceled in 2002, revived in 2008 for movies, revived again as a tv series that ran from 2010 before ending in 2013.

14. Sega Dreamcast

This gaming console came to the United States in September of that year. It was the last home console from Sega, marking the end of the company’s home console market. The bestselling game for the Dreamcast was Sonic Adventureswith 2.5 million copies sold worldwide by this time.

15. Grand Theft Auto 2

The popular game franchise released its second game. Counting spin-off games, there are 15 games at the time of this article in the Grand Theft Auto series. You could say that stealing cars and engaging in criminal in video games activity has been a timeless hobby.

16. Sugar Ray’s album 14:59

Who can forget the iconic frosted tips and goatee of Sugar Ray? Even though this album wasn’t as popular as Floored, released in 1997, their song “Every Morning” was widely compared to “Fly,” and saw similar success, reaching number 3 on U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.

17. BlackBerry 850

The BlackBerry 850 was the first of its kind that appeared on the market in this year. It was introduced as a two-way pager with email and limited HTML browsing. This was the beginning of BlackBerry’s long journey to the 2017 BlackBerry Aurora, released in March.

18. The Backstreet Boy’s album Millennium

Everyone was anticipating the turn of the millennium this year, wondering if all technology was going to shut down at the end of 1999. This third album from the Back Street Boys was the bestselling album of this year with more than 30 million sold worldwide. From that album came our favorite hits, such as “I Want It That Way,” “Larger Than Life,” and “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely.” Since the millennium didn’t cause calamity and destruction, we are able to continue treasuring this album to this day.

19. The Blair Witch Project

Set in the Black Hills near Burkittsville, Maryland, this independent movie became the most successful of its kind. It grossed nearly $250 million worldwide on a budget of $60,000. It popularized the trend of found footage film, soon leading to horror films such as Paranormal Activity and Cloverfield.

20. Jennifer Lopez’s album On the 6

Jennifer Lopez is regarded as one of the few successful pop-stars who started their career as an actress. Two years before, she lead the role as Selena in a bio-pic of the same name. After that role, she pursued music on her own, debuting her single “If You Had My Love.” She topped the Billboard Hot 100 with that debut single while producing the album.

21. Fight Club

The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club. However, it was based on a novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk and grossed $100.9 million.

Here’s to UNT21, the class who grew up with Grand Theft Auto Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys, Spongebob Square Pants, and Harry Potter. Imagine not knowing what the world was like without internet, video games, phones, and a mass of entertainment. You can’t blame them for it. However, it’s crazy thinking that there are people are old as some of the most iconic songs, movies, and games. What a time to be alive.

Independence Day in Denton

It’s that time of year again when we pull out our American flags and eagerly await the booming firework shows. If you’re stuck in Denton for this patriotic American holiday, we’ve got some great ideas for you and your family. Here are some events and things to do tomorrow.

Throughout the Day:

At 9AM, Independence Day Parade begins at Robson Ranch in Denton.

At 10 AM, a Fourth of July Morning Western Swing Dance Party is going down at Dan’s Silverleaf with Nick and Bonnie Norris.

At 12:30PM, an eating competition at Dan’s Silverleaf will start for the July 4th Denton Food Deathcathlon. 10 serious competitors will face off to consume 10 classic picnic items.

 

And, of course, at 5:30PM, the gates of Apogee Stadium opens up for entertainment and fireworks.

Movies:

Cars 3, (G) at Cinemark 14 & Movie Tavern.

Despicable Me 3, (PG) at Cinemark 14 & Movie Tavern.

47 Meters Down, (PG-13) at Cinemark 14 & Movie Tavern.

Guardians of the Galaxy, (PG-13) at Cinemark 14.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, (PG-13) at Cinemark 14.

The Mummy, (PG-13) at Cinemark 14.

Transformers: The Last Knight, (PG-13) at Cinemark 14 & Movie Tavern.

Wonder Woman, (PG-13) at Cinemark 14 & Movie Tavern.

All Eyez On Me, (R) at Cinemark 14.

Baby Driver, (R) at Cinemark 14 & Movie Tavern.

Rough Night, (R) at Cinemark 14 & Movie Tavern.

The House, (R) at Cinemark 14 & Movie Tavern.

Beat the Heat:

The Denton Civic Center Pool is doing $1 admission for the holiday.

The Denton NAT  on Long Road has open swim hours between noon and 5PM.

Denton’s new Water Works Park will have a Wave Pool once July begins.

Have a fun & safe Fourth of July!

Student Discounts in the DFW Area

Are you a student looking to have fun this summer, but are worried about spending too much money?

We understand, which is why we’ve got the hook-up on student discounts in the DFW metroplex! From fun to food, here are all the ‘perks‘ college students get:

Foodie on a Budget

  • Chicken Express, discount with ID (1627 Eagle Dr. Denton, Texas 76201)
  • Central Grill, 10% off with ID (1005 Ave C Denton TX 76201 US)
  • Cafe Brazil, free Bottomless Coffee with ID (501 W. University Drive)
  • Rusty Taco, 10% off with ID (210 E Hickory St, Denton, TX 76201)
  • Fuzzy Taco, 10% off with ID (115 Industrial St, Denton, Texas 76201)

Get Fit

  • Twisted Bodies Pilates & Yoga, ½ off first month (508 S. Elm Street #102)
  • Karma Yoga, 10-class card for $35
  • Crossfit Denton, $10 off group classes with ID (1017 Shady Oaks Drive, Suite 100)
  • Corssfit 940, Elements intro course for $130.00 and unlimited classes for $100.00/month (3801 N I-35 Suite 226)

Go Out with the Squad

  • Cinemark, discount tickets with ID on Thursdays (2825 Wind River Ln.)
  • Casa Manana, $20 rush or $10 regular tickets with ID (3101 W. Lancaster Ave, Fort Worth)
  • Audacity Brew House, 20% off with ID (1012 Shady Oaks Drive)
  • University Lanes, $1 games & $1 shoes, Tuesday & Wednesday (1212 E. University Drive)
  • Fort Worth Zoo, log into perks for access (1989 Colonial Pkwy, Fort Worth)
  • Movie Tavern, $3 movie tickets Monday-Thursday (916 W. University Dr.)
  • Six Flags, log into perks for access
  • Silver Cinema, $1.50 movie tickets on Tuesday (Golden Triangle Mall)
  • Bullseye Bike Shop, 10% off bikes and 15% off accessories with ID (530 S. Locust Street)
  • Devanti Salon, 10% off visit (1800 S. Loop 288, Suite 222)
  • Shakespeare Dallas, $7 student tickets on Thursdays & Sundays, $12 student tickets on Fridays & Saturdays, available only for general admission at 7:30PM

Museums

  • African American Museum of Dallas, $1 student tickets ( 3536 Grand Ave, Dallas)
  • 6th Floor Museum, $2 off (411 Elm Street, Dallas)
  • Nasher Sculpture Center, $5 (2001 Flora St, Dallas)
  • Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, $4 (3200 Darnell St, Fort Worth)
  • Dallas Museum of Art, $12 tickets to special exhibits (1717 N. Harwood Street, Dallas)
  • Dallas Holocaust Museum, $8 tickets with ID (211 N Record St #100, Dallas)

What are you waiting for? Seize the discounts and enjoy your summer!