UC's cooperative learning empowers DAAP student with valuable skills

Transitioning from classroom to career

Olivia Bransford, a University of Cincinnati student, is emerging with a wealth of marketable skills acquired through the university’s co-op work environment.

The experiential learning opportunity at UC is designed to be a transformative journey, intentionally crafted to empower students to cultivate skills that help shape their future career paths. Bransford is passionate about raising awareness among current and incoming students of these opportunities in the hopes that they can chart their own paths and unlock their full potential.

“The co-op program that UC offers is absolutely amazing. Specifically, my co-op at the 1819 Innovation Hub. I have gained so many real-life skills in a real work environment that I would never get to experience in the classroom,” Bransford said.

Bransford, slated to graduate from the UC’s School of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) in spring 2025 with a bachelor's degree in communication design, has gained valuable insights into potential career prospects through her classes in the program. Essential skills acquired include:

  • Typography
  • Motion design
  • Interaction design (UX/UI)
  • Logo design and brand identity
The co-op program that UC offers is absolutely amazing. Specifically, my co-op at the 1819 Innovation Hub. I have gained so many real-life skills in a real work environment that I would never get to experience in the classroom.

Olivia Bransford UC student, College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning

The co-op experience at the 1819 Innovation Hub not only intensified Bransford's passion for videography and motion design but also paved the way for attractive prospects in this design industry sector. During her time in 1819, she actively participated in various projects such as:

  • Creation of promotional billboards
  • Collateral materials for events
  • Numerous photography and videography projects

Bransford’s enthuses about her proudest contribution yet: creating billboards promoting the UC 1819 Innovation Hub, ensuring their visibility to millions of travelers within the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

"It feels somewhat surreal," Bransford said as she discussed her co-op journey and the mentorship provided by Greg Glevicky, creative services manager at the 1819 Innovation Hub. "He has been an extraordinary mentor, inspiring me in numerous ways and facilitating my personal growth in various aspects of the design field, including motion design, videography and capturing incredible shots. I am eternally grateful for the invaluable experiences and knowledge he has given me."

Bransford's decision to attend UC was primarily motivated by its highly esteemed DAAP program. Although she explored other schools offering graphic design careers, UC stood out for several compelling reasons, particularly the diverse campus culture, ultimately making it an obvious choice for her. She expressed appreciation for the education she is receiving.

Bransford acknowledged the significant impact of Sean Hafer, an assistant professor of practice at DAAP, on her academic journey.

"He consistently made classes enjoyable and captivating, especially during the motion design course, where I gained expertise in digital visual effects utilizing software like AfterEffects," Bransford said, highlighting Hafer's influential role in her learning experience.

Beyond the classroom, Bransford is an accomplished equestrian. During her first year of high school, she won a medal in the Ohio Hunter Jumper Association finals. The accomplishment showcases Bransford's versatility and dedication beyond her pursuits in design, adding another dimension to her diverse range of talents.

Featured image at top: Olivia Bransford sits inside a pod at the 1819 Innovation Hub. Photo/Greg Glevicky

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