Senior Valentina Nardini reflects on her time at KSC

Before coming to Keene State College, senior Valentina Nardini was working as a self-taught designer in her home of Italy.

“I learned my profession [by] studying on my own. While I was working, I always studied to learn new skills…. I apprehended the profession by studying from books, reading articles, doing tutorials and more,” Nardini said.

After gaining first-hand field experience, Nardini moved to the United States to pursue a degree in graphic design. Nardini felt the degree would add to the experience she had already gained working in the field. “Although I learned some foundations on my own, I was looking for a more complete academic path where I could learn from someone who has more experience than me,” Nardini said.

During her time on campus over the past year, Nardini has worked as a designer for the Redfern Arts Center, assisting in various design elements, including shaping the newly created podcast ‘Inside the Redfern.’

“I was working mainly to create the design pieces for the visual events that they were hosting,” Nardini said. “I [also] worked on the design of the brand identity of the podcast, which is called Inside the Redfern, that they started last year.”

That experience helped Nardini build upon her skills as a designer, teaching her the value in sketching her work before jumping in to designing. “I learned a lot of things that were completely new,” Nardini said. “In the past, I didn’t used to sketch, I didn’t used to brainstorm creating sketches, it’s something I was not used to, and now I’m more able to create things and I think it is a good design process for anyone in this field.”

Outside her work in the classroom, Nardini creates wooden ornaments from scratch. “I create my ornaments. Sometimes I carve them, so I take out blocks of wood and I carve them directly with a knife,” Nardini said.

In the classroom, graphic design professor Randall Hoyt said Nardini consistently goes above and beyond in her work. “Valentina does more than is required,” Hoyt said. “She’s talented, so she brings work in that she’s worked really hard on and it shows.”

Hoyt could not describe Nardini in a single word. “One word’s not enough… I would have to say dedicated, and professional,” Hoyt said. “She really is, she comes to the school with a lot of experience and she’s extremely interested in becoming a better designer.”

Nardini is preparing to wrap up her time at the college, graduating this semester with a degree in graphic design. After graduation, Nardini plans to stay in Keene and jump right into her work.

“My idea would be [to] stay in Keene,” Nardini said. “I would like to be able to work for a company, so find a job that would be doable, maybe a remote job or something in the area that would make me have a balance between work and personal life.”

Hoyt said Nardini’s experience and work ethic is something other students can look to. “It’s great to have an international student like Valentina here, because she brings with her a really unique perspective,” Hoyt said. “And she also models hardworking values that inspire other students to work harder.”

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