Jeremy Cruz Cruises Toward a Professional Career in Graphic Design

By University Career Center Contributor

Meet Graphic Designer and Portland State Student Jeremy Cruz! During Jeremy’s time at PSU, he was able to land an internship position with Under Armour working on a customization platform for their products. Jeremy left a huge impact on the Under Armour team and even the Principal Design Ambassador, John Acevedo remarked, “His ability to create fearlessly and always connect; values we hold dearly, was always reflected in his demeanor and work ethic. We were honored to have Jeremy be part of our internship program and his impact has lasted beyond his time with us. It’s what we aspire to for all the students that come to be a part of our family.” Jeremy kindly sat down with us for an interview to tell us more about his experience at Portland State and the internship he had with Under Armour. 

Jeremy graduated from PCC with his associate’s degree in applied science and graphic design, then he transferred to PSU to pursue his bachelor’s degree in graphic design. 

We asked Jeremy why he chose graphic design as his major and he explained,  “when I was looking for classes, I thought graphic design was going to be based a lot on fine art and illustrator type of things that focus on communication. Back then I was really shy so I thought that this would be something that would challenge me to express myself in a different way, not just by talking, but like on a canvas or a magazine or newspaper.” 

While getting his degree at Portland State, Jeremy wanted to find a graphic design internship to build his experience as well. He was actively looking online at different opportunities and came across an internship posting for Under Armour, and also one for a local publishing company called Tin House. He decided he wanted to go after both! 

During the interview process, Jeremy was asked about his prior experience, and since he was still a student and didn’t have much real world experience, he described what he had learned in classes so far and the projects he had completed that related. Jeremy skillfully used his knowledge of past projects and things he had learned in class to craft detailed responses to practical questions they asked him about design, which he felt like, “won them over!” After getting offers from both Tin House Publishing company, and Under Armour, Jeremy decided he wanted to take on both internships, while still working his part-time job at Best Buy and continuing to take classes. Talk about a full plate!

Company culture can definitely help determine the quality of experience you have in a job or internship. We wanted to know what that culture felt like at Under Armour during his time there. Jeremy said the whole experience there was incredible, and everyone seemed very laid back and friendly. “It’s not scary at all to go up to the head of a department and talk to them about ideas or projects,” he remarked. He worked most of his projects and tasks by himself, but would have frequent meetings with different departments and video conferences often with his higher-ups in other parts of the United States. 

During his time at Under Armour, Jeremy probably worked on over 30 projects, but his most favorite one he said was his final project to wrap up the internship he had. He focused on what the future of customization was going to look like for the consumer and he was able to present to many of the top managers at the company. 

Jeremy told us that not only is this experience going to be amazing for his resume and expanding his network, but “it elevated my own design and me as a person, it allowed me to focus on communication in addition to creating a lot of collateral for the marketing team and overall help Under Armour with their customization efforts.” His favorite part of his experience there was all of the wonderful people he was able to work with and seeing his stuff online was “pretty awesome too!” 

Jeremy learned so much from Under Armour and one of the most important things he said was, not being afraid to go and talk to people whose work you admire or who’s position you aspire to be in. “Learning from them is super important,” so ask all the questions you have and never be scared to approach someone! 

Thanks so much to Jeremy for sharing his highly impactful experience with us. If you’re struggling to find the right internship for you or need anymore advice on this topic, please feel free to reach out to the University Career Center to schedule an appointment or come in during walk-in hours for additional advice!

You can check out Jeremy’s online portfolio at https://www.jeremycruz.work/