Top Design Exec Michael Janda Visits UA Class

One of the top executives in the design industry, Michael Janda, recently visited with graphic design students in Cassandra Palmer’s ART 414 Portfolio class and held a Q&A session via Zoom.

Michael Janda (bottom right) answers students’ questions about careers in graphic design.

Janda founded the creative agency, Riser, whose clients have included Disney, Google, ABC, Fox, Warner Bros., NBC, ABC, National Geographic, TV Guide and numerous other notable companies. He is an agency veteran, business coach and author of Burn Your Portfolio, one of the top-selling books in the creative industry.

“Michael Janda is one of the preeminent designers working today,” said Palmer. “He gave our students an opportunity to pick his brain and ask questions and advice about the design industry. We were thrilled to have him join our class and truly thankful for his time.” Palmer explained that Janda has been influential in her teaching career. “His words of wisdom and the insights from his book Burn Your Portfolio were beneficial to this class,” said Palmer, who added the book to her class recommended reading list.

“Talking to Mr. Janda was a really great opportunity to learn more about the design field and what we can do as students to prepare for a career,” said senior Jordan Dyess. Dyess is a BFA major with concentrations in digital media and photography and a minor in advertising.

Allie McGilberry said, “I feel a lot better about talking to industry professionals after our talk. He’s one of the top dogs in our field and yet he’s still a person just like me and you. He made it very clear that the only jobs you can’t get are the ones you don’t apply to, and he made me feel a lot more confident going into the job market.” McGilberry is a senior BFA major with concentrations in digital media and printmaking.

For information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, visit our Degree Programs page.