skip to main content
Ed McCollum

Ed McCollum

Wyoming Department of Education

Cheyenne, WY USA

Career Roadmap

Ed's work combines: Design, Education, and Being Creative

See more careers and stories that connect to your interests.

Take Roadmap Quiz

Day In The Life

Senior Media Specialist

All visual and graphic work for the Wyoming Department of Education.

Skills & Education

Here's the path I took:

  • High School

    Van-Far High School, Vandalia, MO

  • Bachelor's Degree

    Fine/Studio Arts, General

    Truman State University

Here's the path I recommend for someone who wants to be a Senior Media Specialist:

Bachelor's Degree: Fine/Studio Arts, General

Learn more about different paths to this career

Life & Career Milestones

My path in life has been direct

  • 1.

    My first job was at an advertising agency. I started as a finish artist, and working lots of overtime and weekends, I would re-do ads that others created to show how I would have handled it.

  • 2.

    That work led to an art directorship after less than two years. Then it was time to show my ability to sell a story, not just tell it, by working on copy to make the ads look and sound better.

  • 3.

    And then I lost my job. The agency lost its largest client, and out of 73 of us, 23 lost our jobs. I also went gray from worry, wondering how to provide for my family, and finding a new job.

  • 4.

    And the next job lasted 14 years. I started the same time the company started, and guided its look and sound from beginning to that point.

  • 5.

    And they let me go. They thought I'd done everything for them I could, and being there so long, my salary became a target for cutting costs and budgets. It was almost like it was time to start over.

  • 6.

    Which I did with a move to Wyoming. We'd vacationed here often, and decided this should be the place to finish a career, and retire to, all without having to pack up again.

  • 7.

    So here I am, helping craft the first "look" for a department that has been around for more than 100 years, and building a brand that will be used long after I retire.

Defining Moments

How I responded to discouragement


    Messages from Peers:

    There are too many people in your field. You'll never stand out and if you don't stand out, you'll never make it.

  • How I responded:

    I knew that I wasn't the best at any one thing, but I was really, really good at a lot of things that all went into be a successful art director or creative director. So rather than fixate on one aspect of marketing or design, I fixated on many, making sure I knew them all, could excel (while maybe not the very best of the best) and know I could stand out for my overall knowledge and ability to do the work that would be expected of me.