A More Creative Version of Yourself

by Lauren Hernandez | March 8, 2024
Founded in NYC in 1997, Sessions College has proudly worked with creative students from all around the world, graduating students from more than 100 countries. We are enriched by the experience of working with international students and value the different perspectives they bring to our learning community.

In this interview we talked to Stefanos Dardanos from Greece. During his career Stefanos has worked for a wide range of international advertising firms as a studio manager. Now he is honoring his talents and updating his skills in the BFA in Graphic Design program at Sessions.

Q: How did you become interested in graphic design?

I was born in Athens in the 1960s but it wasn’t until the early 90s that I got my first computer. I spent the next months destroying and formatting a countless number of floppy disks, till I knew what each DOS 3.3 command was capable of!

When I was earning my degree in Economics from University of Athens, I decided that I had a graphics expert inside me, and that Skynet* was going to become self-aware during my life’s course. (*This is a reference to the Terminator movies of the 80s and 90s.) So I pursued a second degree from the local Vacalo School in computer graphics, while managing to survive all the Windows versions Microsoft threw at me.

After a few years, I became a Mac guru, an Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop expert, which led me to being a studio manager for some multinational advertising firms, (such as McCann Erickson Athens, TBWA Athens, Amirati Puris Lintas, and Mullen Lowe Athens).

Now that we are on the brink of a sentient revolution in computing (ChatGPT anyone?), I have decided to take my next step and become a more creative version of myself, by studying for a Bachelor’s in Graphic Design in Sessions.

Q: Why did you choose Sessions College?

As an ex US military veteran, my wife had earned GI bill benefits that she was not planning on using, and she gave the education benefits to me as a present.

I found out about Sessions College by searching the Internet and after reading multiple students reviews, I discovered that it was the most prestigious institution of its kind for what I wanted to do. It was a no-brainer to apply for a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design, and use my funding become a Sessions College student.

Q: What’s it like being a graphic designer in Greece?

It’s no different in Athens than it would be in New York or any big city in the States. I already work in advertising as a studio manager for many years, so I am already a graphics “technologist” of sorts. The working “code” in multinational advertising is the same regardless of country, so I don’t think there is a difference in working in an Athens branch vs a US branch. Plus, the Greek culture is very close to the US one.

Q: How do you manage your school work given the time difference?

The 100% online nature of Sessions College means I can study at my own pace, as I also continue working. I always stay two weeks ahead with my classes, so honestly it has been easy for me to function under a different time zone.

Q: How do you plan to apply your creative skills in your career?

Because I am already working in the advertising sector, I have seen and corrected thousands of artworks as a studio manager. Becoming more creative has been a long pursuit, one that I will first put to the test in the agency I am working for now, with the longer-term plan being opening my own creative smaller office down the road, and work with my own clients plus freelancing.

Q: What does earning a BFA mean to you?

It’s proof that I studied hard and am able to deliver good work! It will mean that I have completed the program and acquired comprehensive knowledge and skills in my chosen field. It will show that I am ready to provide a full creative service to my potential clients, combining my final artwork experience with my newly acquired creative one.

To learn about degree programs at Sessions College, visit our Bachelors Degree or Associate Degree areas and visit Degree Program Admissions.

Lauren Hernandez is the Manager, Faculty and Curriculum Development at Sessions College. Lauren is an artist, educator, and former middle-school teacher with a passion for everything art-related. Outside of work, Lauren likes to take care of her plants and hang out with her bird.