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Brandon Vacco

APEX alumnus, Brandon Vacco, stands in front of the University of Iowa’s traveling display of “Hawkeye Wings” he created.

We recently caught up with 2017 Waukee High School alumnus, Brandon Vacco. So many great things have been going on with him since he took APEX’s Designing Communication Solutions. Learn more in our Q & A with him as he shares more about his experiences after APEX.


Q: What APEX course(s) did you take? 

A: Designing Communication Solutions

Q: Explain the path that you took after high school? 

A: After graduating from high school, I went to the University of Iowa and started studying marketing and studio art. After a few semesters, I decided that I wanted to focus on graphic design instead of marketing, so I decided to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in graphic design. Currently,  I am working on campus as a graphic designer, and I am on track to graduate next spring. Recently I had the opportunity to work on the University of Iowa’s traveling display of “Hawkeye Wings” displayed around campus and at special events. I worked to design and create artwork that highlights iconic Iowa images and promotes the hashtag #AlwaysAHawkeye. My portfolio is definitely growing.  I also had a featured poster I designed for the 80/35 Festival as well as many client logos. You can see more of my work at vaccodesign.com.

Q: Do you think that the technical skills that you learned in your APEX course(s) helped you be successful beyond high school? 

A: Yes, the technical skills I learned during APEX helped me out a lot. I gained enough experience with different design software like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to be able to get a design job on campus during my first semester. Also, I had an advantage over my peers when I started taking both my design and marketing classes.

Q: Do you think that the soft skills, or professional skills, learned in APEX helped you be successful beyond high school? 

A: Learning professional skills in APEX was also very beneficial for me. I feel very comfortable in professional settings, and I am also able to feel confident going into things like interviews and client meetings.

Q: Are there other things about APEX that assisted you as you progressed beyond high school? 

A: Teamwork was a big focus during APEX and is also one of the most important skills that I learned. Teamwork is vital in both work and school. Knowing how to collaborate and communicate effectively is incredibly helpful.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add? Advice for future APEX associates?

A: Try to pursue something that you’re passionate about. Having joy in what you do makes it so much easier to work hard and produce high-quality products.