September Alumni Spotlight: Lex Coelho

Lex Coelho, a UNC and 1893 Brand Studio alumnae, always had a love for design and maximized her time on campus by building her professional portfolio during undergrad. 

After graduating in 2019, Coelho continued her design career and is now a Junior Art Director for IMM in Boulder, CO.

On campus, Coelho studied within the J-School on the Advertising track, focusing a lot of her courses within the design field. When the Brand Studio first opened, Coelho knew she wanted to be a part of the multimedia team, where she served for 5 semesters, building her videography and digital design skills. 

Reflecting on her time at the Brand Studio, Coelho noted the ways this helped her advance her future academic and career possibilities. After graduating UNC, Coelho worked with the VCU Brand Center in graduate school and credits this opportunity to her previous work with 1893.  

“I am very confident that the reason I got in was the portfolio I had built at the Brand Studio”

As a Junior Art Director, Coelho does a lot of similar work to what she learned to do at Brand Studio. She’s worked on different advertising campaigns with companies from Five Guys to the Boulder Community Health Centennial. Coelho enjoys working in a lot of different areas, rather than sticking to one task, and being an Art director has given her a lot of versatility in her work. 

“I’ve gotten to build interactive web experiences, but also last night released a 60 second anthem video for a commercial spot” 

In her life now, Coehlo values the things she learned while working at the Brand Studio, mentioning that she still has some of her 1893 client work included in her professional portfolio now. 

Coehlo wanted to share some advice she had for current students, emphasizing that there aren’t many other opportunities to get real world experience quite like what is offered at the Brand Studio. She urged students to ask questions, build their portfolio and take advantage of different opportunities to expand their skills and knowledge of the field while still an undergrad. 

“If there’s something that needs to be done, even if you don’t know how to do it, that’s the safest environment to get professional experience, but still have the support of full time professional staff” 

A final piece of advice that Coehlo suggested students learn before taking on a full time role, is to be able to separate who you are as a person from the work you are producing. Coehlo feels having tough skin is essential in the creative field, especially when working with outside clients and creative directors. Constantly expanding possibilities and pushing yourself creatively will lead to a successful career in any type of advertising or creative position.