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December 28, 2023

SVSU graduating seniors: Rachael Miller

Young woman in orange sweater with Night and Day Fountain in background

From: Sterling Heights 

Major: Graphic Design  

Future: Exploring job opportunities 


In her time at SVSU, Rachael Miller felt empowered to overcome her struggles with anxiety that at one time threatened her progress to graduation. Thanks to the support and skills she found at SVSU, especially in the art department, she has become a confident and passionate graphic design major.  

With graduation on the near horizon, Rachael reflected on her SVSU experience.  

 What was an obstacle that stood in your way during your journey to graduation, and how did SVSU help you get beyond it? 

 “My anxiety has been an obstacle on my journey to graduation, but support from SVSU, especially from people within the art department, has helped me deal with that tremendously. The structure of the classes allowed me to get consistent feedback and help developing my work from both my professors and peers. Making mistakes is a fundamental part of the process —accepting that and learning from those mistakes has built my confidence — and, in turn, helped me manage my anxiety. 

 “I’ve felt supported by my peers and professors throughout my time at SVSU. Discussing my work with my peers and being exposed to so many different approaches to the same projects has not only broadened my scope of what’s possible in design but has added depth to my ability to evaluate and improve my own work.” 

 How did your experience at SVSU help you find your true purpose? 

“Being at SVSU helped me realize that in some sense, I’ve always known what I wanted to do with my life, but I didn’t have the confidence to pursue it until I came here. Despite my lifelong interest in art and design, I never thought I had the ability to do it professionally. It was always relegated to a side interest, even though I’d never felt anywhere near as interested in any other discipline throughout my life. Despite my reservation. I took a chance and chose to pursue graphic design anyway at SVSU, and I can’t say I would have made that decision at another school.” 

What makes you proud about graduating? 

“What makes me proud about graduating is it’s the first big accomplishment of my adult life based on a choice I made. My decision of school and major were solely mine to make, and I have no regrets. I’m proud of all the things I’ve been able to accomplish based on those choices, and how much I’ve developed as a person throughout college.”  

What are your plans after graduation? 

“My plans after graduation are to find a job, ideally doing freelance work, as well. I’ve never been one to make long-term plans, but, ultimately, I hope I’m doing something that makes me happy and provides a sense of fulfillment. I could see myself fitting in a variety of places, so I’m keeping my mind open about where I’ll end up.”