Ramla Siddique always wanted a career that would allow her to incorporate creativity and her personal interests into her work.

Before coming to the United States, Ramla gained work experience in operations management, content creation, search engine optimization, graphic design and technical writing as a student and later as an employee for a tech company in Pakistan.

Two years ago, she immigrated to the United States after earning a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature at the University of Punjab. After moving to Rocky Mount, she decided to continue her education at Nash Community College because she felt it would afford her better career opportunities.

Siddique chose to enroll in the Advertising and Graphic Design program at NCC.

“I love painting, photography and sketching,” she said. “Art has always been a great source of pleasure for me. Being a Literature and Graphic Designing student, art expanded my expressiveness, creativity and imagination, playing with color palettes, thinking outside the box and most importantly creating something of my own.”

Siddique was recently selected for internships with two local nonprofit agencies: STEP, the Strategic Twin-Counties Education Partnership, and The Mercer Foundation Inc.

“Having past experience with the graphic design class, I knew I could find an intern from NCC that would be prepared and would meet our needs as an organization,” STEP Executive Director Pam Gould said.

The organization is a collaborative initiative with the public school systems, community colleges and employers in Nash and Edgecombe counties. As an advertising and graphics design intern, Siddique assists with social media strategies, website design and marketing materials design.

“STEP seeks to increase work-based learning experiences for students in the Twin Counties so it only made sense for us to live our truth. We encourage other employers to provide real work experiences for students,” Gould said. “Ramla came in ready and started working immediately on projects. We have been thrilled with her skill level.”

The Mercer Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that specializes in feeding children and their families and providing transitional housing services for homeless veterans in Nash and Edgecombe counties.

The Mercer Foundation Founder and CEO, retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. James Mercer, an NCC board member, is excited about Siddique’s Social Media Marketing internship and the partnership with NCC for part-time student opportunities.

“Ramla’s experience and knowledge about nonprofit marketing approaches will help improve The Mercer Foundation’s business results and donor participation,” Mercer said. “She will be designing advertising content for our social media accounts, updating our marketing campaign and updating our website.”

Students completing the Advertising and Graphic Design curriculum at NCC typically find employment opportunities in graphic design, advertising, commercial printing, marketing and many other areas.

Siddique plans to graduate from Nash Community College in May with an Associate in Applied Science in Advertising and Graphic Design with honors. After graduating from NCC, she says her intent is to continue her studies and obtain a higher degree in the field.

“I also aspire to start a career which would help me in fulfilling my goals,” she said.

When asked about her advice to current or prospective college students, she said, “I would advise them to look for a career which reflects their personalities and ambitions. This way, they will always enjoy what they are doing.”

Siddique hopes one day to become an established graphic designer with her own studio and to publish a graphic novel.

For more information about the Advertising and Graphic Design program at Nash Community College, contact the Advising Center at advising@nashcc.edu. The college is currently enrolling for the summer and fall semesters with courses being offered on campus and online.