Faces of Cincy State: Cody Knarr

Two Generations of Cincinnati State Grads

I began college in 2016, 3 years after I graduated from high school. I was working full-time and attending Columbus State Community College part-time. I attended school there off and on for about 3 years taking Graphic Design classes. I had no goal for what I wanted to do with my life.

It wasn’t until I moved back to Cincinnati in 2019 that I decided to refocus myself and attend Cincinnati State majoring in Web and Multimedia Design. This major went hand in hand with the credits I had earned at Columbus State Community College, so I transferred my credits and began classes in January 2020. Both of my parents are also Cincinnati State graduates, along with a handful of friends. I’m currently enrolled in the Web and Multimedia Design program and I’ll graduate from the program at the end of the Fall 2021 semester.

The best part of being a student at Cincinnati State is the connections I’ve made with students and teachers. David Hoctor, who taught the majority of my design and web classes, really pushed me to be creative and professional while in class. Without Mr. Hoctor, I’m not sure my Cincinnati State experience would have been the same. I treated my time interacting with other students and the community very seriously, because human connections are very important to me. I’ve gained some powerful connections with other like-minded individuals at Cincinnati State, and for this I am grateful.

Students who are interested in Cincinnati State should contact the school, contact friends who have attended, and start the college conversation. The hardest part about new journeys in life is starting them, so if you’re on the fence about attending, send that email, make that phone call, and get the ball rolling!

A piece of advice I would give to new students is: Make sure you know what your goals are in life, why you’re attending college, and what you hope to gain. At my desk I have a list of things that I would like to complete; these are my long-term goals. In school, you’ll focus on so many short-term goals you’ll forget what you did last night and what you’re supposed to do tomorrow. It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture and to get run down from the seemingly endless amount of work you have to do (some of which might not seem to have anything to do with your actual career aspirations). So just keep things in perspective and don’t lose sight of the finish line.

The co-op experience is a huge part of why I wanted to attend Cincinnati State. My friend Steve, who attended the Graphic Design program more than a decade ago, is still at the company he was placed in for his co-op. I’ve struggled in my adult life to find a place where I fit in, so it has been a huge goal of mine to find a workplace where I can stay and not bounce from job to job. I’m the type of person who loves learning but isn’t necessarily the best student. I do my best work while in a job-like environment. This isn’t to say I didn’t take my classes seriously– I did. It’s just that being able to go into a work environment and see things in action is way more appealing to me.

I am hopeful that my current co-op leads to a full-time job, but if not that doesn’t mean that this was all for nothing. Having design-related experience and references on my resume is very useful. When I look back at what I’ve achieved in the past year, I am very proud.

I’m a musician in two local bands in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area, as well as a freelance artist who contributes to the music scene locally and nationwide. My goals after graduating are to settle into a creative career. I’d like to create meaningful designs as a way to give back to my community and those around me.

(Pictured: L to R Ashley McNutt, In-house designer at GBC Fundraiser, Cody Knarr, and Gary Smith, Supervisor at GBC Fundraising)
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