As a kid growing up in the Philadelphia area, Eric Yeager and his buddies would head into the city, lace up their rollerblades, and engage in what he calls “aggressive skating.”
He and his friends would show off all manner of tricks for each other, including an ambitious maneuver called the “fishbrain,” which involves leaping onto and grinding one-footed across a steel rail not on the wheels, but on the sole of the skate.
And as anyone who follows skating culture knows, aggressive skating isn’t just about skating—it’s also about capturing everything on video, adding music and graphics, and turning it all into YouTube-worthy productions. And it was that experience, of all things, that started Eric on the path to Cabrini.
“I may not have realized it at the time,” Eric says, “but I was doing graphic design.”
As a graphic design major at Cabrini, Eric says he liked learning in small classes taught by professors who care, appreciated the opportunity to broaden his skills with an expanding range of graphic design tools, and most of all enjoyed being able to integrate what happened in the classroom with hands-on, real-world work experience.
He had two internships doing Web design, one with the local Chamber of Commerce and another with the global technology-consulting firm Unisys.
“My internships were opportunities to go above and beyond what I learned in class,” says Eric.
“They’re a way to find out things on your own—to take it another step.”
Eric’s next steps after graduating in 2004 were into the world of work, and he’s pleased with the results. He rose steadily from production artist to manager at Tafford Uniforms, a company that sells apparel for the healthcare industry.
He oversaw design and production of the firm’s main marketing materials in a department that’s responsible for basically “anything on the creative side of things.”
He has since moved on to a position as Manufacturing Design Technician at CeeLite Technologies, which creates ultra-thin light-panels for ads, interior design, and even street signs.
And what advice would Eric have for those considering Cabrini as a place to build a foundation for their own successful careers?
“Take advantage of all the programs available to you,” he says, and then he adds a tip that’s a holdover from his skating days: “And you’ve got to be able to sell yourself out there a little bit.”
You would expect no less from someone who had once scored style points doing the fishbrain.