Alum bounces back
After being laid off, Tony Phuong came to Highline to pursue his passion.
Three years ago, Tony Phuong was laid off from his job.
But instead of giving up, Phuong thought it would be the perfect time to pursue his passion in art and design.
With the help of Highline College’s partnership with WorkSource, which supports those who are unemployed, the Federal Way resident began working toward his degree in visual communications.
“I love to express my creativity through my design concepts, either working alone or as a group with other designers so that we can learn from each other,” he said. “I want my design to be a signifier and represent something that captures emotion and attention.”
While pursuing his degree, Phuong also interned in Highline’s Print Services department. He worked with Print Services Manager Dave Weber, who Phuong referred to as a “great mentor.”
During his internship, Phuong won first place in a student poster competition sponsored by the Pacific Printing Industries Association. PPI is a regional trade association that supports and promotes the printing industry.
“Highline College impacted my future significantly and gave me a sense of pride and confidence,” Phuong said.
Phuong graduated Highline in fall 2017 but not before meeting many “admirable and talented students and staff” as well as making great friendships.
Now, Phuong works at Print NW in Lakewood, Washington. He says this well-established company is a good place for him to build a foundation for his career. Although he is currently working as a digital print operator, his goal is to become a graphic designer.
“Be all that you can be and enjoy the path you are taking,” the alum offers to new students.