Joyce Chan

Joyce working on a CCK project. Photo taken by Alex Tsui

A year or so ago Joyce started working for the Centre for Communicating Knowledge (CCK). She joined as a junior design coordinator, and her first project was working on The Gamocracy Now, she says she doesn’t know what she’d do without the centre.

Joyce is a fourth year undergraduate at Ryerson University majoring in professional communication She also has a certificate in advanced French proficiency. So far, she’s worked on at least ten projects for the CCK on a part-time basis. Here are some of the projects she’s worked on and clients she’s worked with:

  • Ryerson Urban Water
  • Diversity Institute 
  • St. Michael’s Hospital 
  • The Gamocracy 
  • Focus on Features 
  • The Institute for Innovation and Technology 
  • the Inclusive Early Childhood Service System Project 
  • the Glass Obstacle Course 
  • FCAD’s RUBIX annual event


The Interview

Alex: Why is working at CCK a positive experience?

Joyce: I think it’s because you get to interact directly with the client. Not just that, but there is also no criteria. Every project you have has a different outline and the clients are looking for something different. There’s really no guideline on how to do something, so you’re kind of just figuring things out as you go. And so when I first started working here, I had barely any experience in (Adobe) Illustrator and Photoshop. Jacky (Au Duong) just put me on a project and was just like, “do it” and I was just sitting at the computer figuring out how to use the buttons and eventually, project after project, it just came together.

Alex: Tell me about your previous projects.

Joyce: There have been at least ten. Half of these projects I was design lead, and the other half I was design support…Ryerson Urban Water is one of my favourite ones. That one consisted of three postcards, one sell sheet and a huge banner and that one was…

Alex: Why was it your favourite?

Joyce: It was the first big graphic design project that I had to myself. And I think that’s the thing with CCK – it just kind of throws you in the water and you’re just kind of learning how to swim, in my case at least. So that turned out really well, the client was really happy and it’s a real affirmation that you get and it kind of just motivates you for the next project.

Alex: What has the instruction been like?  

Joyce: In terms of the technical skills you learn by yourself. But overall as in how to interact with the clients and timelines and what the client expects from you, I think Jacky is a really good mentor for that. He guides you and he tells you kind of what he’s looking for but he’s not going to tell you – for example – that this needs to be that colour or that needs to be… I don’t know. I guess the technical parts you pick up on your own but working at an agency… you are guided through.

Alex: Do you have any criticisms about the CCK?

Joyce: Not really actually. In my case at least, I’m always given a choice for the project and if I want to be a part of a project or not. It’s not like you’re overloaded (and) it’s not like you’re working not enough because you always have the option to tell Jacky you want more hours or if you want fewer. You’re really in control of what your schedule is. I think it’s really good. I don’t really have any criticisms.

Alex: Why do you think the CCK’s important to the Faculty of Communication and Design?

Joyce: Well I think it’s good to give students the opportunity to work in a real environment with real clients. And the thing with knowledge mobilization and all these technical things is that you learn… they don’t really mean anything when you’re in class until you put these skills to practice.  When I tell people I work at an agency or communications agency they don’t really know what it means until they have to interact with one. Then they know what an agency actually does. So I guess it’s a school in itself which sounds so cheesy but it’s true.

Alex: Do you think the CCK is preparing you for a job outside of school?

Joyce: Yeah, I think… I don’t know what I’d do without the CCK because it has given me: portfolio pieces, I’ve interacted with clients, and you really know how the process works in an agency and what the workflow is like. So if you were to work with other designers… If you were lead or if you were follow… things like that. Things you really wouldn’t learn in class.


More about Joyce

Before the CCK, Joyce had experience with the non-for profit FCAD Talks where she interviewed international alumni on creative work, worked for the online magazine The International Passion, and worked as a technical assistant in the School of Professional Communication at Ryerson University.


Getting to know the CCK

Get to Know is a blog series spotlighting the students who work at the the CCK. Each entry details their learning experiences based on the work that they’ve done.