The York University Magazine

YorkU Winter 2015

The alumni magazine of York University

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42 YorkU Winter 2015 Alumni n just over 10 years, Facebook has gone from a simple idea thought up in a Harvard dorm room to the world's most popular social brand, connecting more than 1.3 billion users around the world. It's no wonder then that the minds that created Facebook would know exactly what it takes to keep this success going – and they found it right here at York University. Launched in 1999, the York/Sheridan Joint Program in Design (YSDN) is the first and largest bachelor of design degree program in Ontario, combining York's Department of Design in the Faculty of Fine Arts and Sheridan College's Faculty of Ani- mation, Arts and Design. The comprehensive program focuses on professional education in visual communication, information design and interactive design. "Students spend their first two years developing a foundation in form-making, typography and interactivity," explains Pro- fessor David Gelb, director of York University's graduate pro- gram in design. "In the upper years, they integrate their knowl- edge and skills into contemporary applications, such as mobile interfaces, interactive environments and digital publications." As a result, it was York's design students, armed with these skill-packed resumes and strong portfolios, who stood out from the pack when Facebook set out looking for interns. One such student was Sarah Hum, who secured a coveted internship with I the social media giant during her third year at York. "I had heard that York's design program equipped students with the necessary skills to be successful future designers – and it took no time at all to see that this was definitely the case," says Hum. "Facebook reached out to me after finding some of my work from York online, saying how impressed they were with my skills. One thing led to another and before I knew it, I was on my way down to Silicon Valley." As a Facebook intern, Hum says she was expected to perform as a full-time designer and was provided with the resources, knowledge and independence to make a tangible impact. "These kinds of opportunities are very important for York students. This internship exposed me to the latest design tools and processes, and gave me the chance to learn practical skills outside the class- room that could then be applied to real-life scenarios. Not only was it good for my resume, but working at Facebook has empowered me to discover the many professional options that lie ahead of me." Ross Zurowski, another York student who interned with Facebook, also feels that these kinds of opportunities are impor- tant for budding designers. "Nothing beats the kind of front- line exposure that you get from an internship with a reputable company like Facebook. On top of job skills I developed working as a part of a design team in a professional workplace, Facebook Likes York U The social media giant looks to York for budding design talent

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