Myron Heslop - drawn to design
The Bus ride by Myron Heslop
Myron Heslop loved art and drawing all his life but, up to the point of leaving Oberlin high in St. Andrew he did not link his passion for artistic endeavors with a possible career.
After leaving high school, he recalls, "I knew I was not ready for working. I had no idea what to do."
With the direction of his mother, Adina Marshall, Heslop enrolled at the Excelsior Community College in Kingston for the three-year building and construction drawing programme.
But, his mother, noting his lack of 100 per cent commitment, also decided that it was time to find out what he really needed to do. She thought that Damien should do career testing and use it to guide his employment decisions.
Heslop recalls, "my mother told me several times to go do the test." She brought home the Career Key, having secured it from Choices Career Centre in Kingston, and instructed her son to take it in his free time. The teenager's reaction was less than enthusiastic.
"I said 'yeah, right' - how can this tell me anything?"
Using the Career Key developed by American researcher John Holland, individuals are said to be able to assess their resemblance to six personality types - realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional - and identify their most promising career options.
Finally, Heslop decided to do it with what was to him surprising results.
"It (the Career Key) asked what I liked and what were my interests. The results concluded that I was as an artistic person. I was impressed but I put down the paper."
Even at that point, the student did not seriously consider that he could make a living from his love of art.
It was only after completing the course at Excelsior that he came across the magazine with the test again and began to give it serious consideration.
He recalls, "One day I was at home cleaning the room when I found the test and read it through. The idea came into my head - what could I do now that would be beneficial and at the same time be something I really liked? What kind of art could I do? "
Heslop decided within a week to stop by a graphic studio where he questioned workers about the software being used and secured a copy for himself. The rest was history.
The young man fell in love with graphic design, spending one week of non stop effort in learning the programme.
"After a week I ended up falling in love in it. I asked the person for the software. I was on the computer from 9 in the morning until 11 in the night. It took me a week to master the programme. I realised did not have to change my personal interests in order to get a job."
Still, Heslop realised he needed training, a challenge to which he would find a solution a few years later.
After leaving Excelsior, he worked with an older brother in a satellite service in Montego Bay and also to managed a shop for six months before returned to Kingston to live, out of a job again.
But, in April 2008, when Heslop took two posters he had created for his birthday party to a print shop his life changed again. On discovering that he was the one who had created the posters, he was offered a job on the spot at Grafhix Zone in Golden Spring St. Andrew.
Since then, it has been a year of non-stop learning and Damien Heslop says he has enjoyed every minute of it.
After only one year and one month, he says, those who see his work think that he has been doing it for five years or more.
In his daily work he still uses his skill in freestyle drawing to do designs. " I sketch, scan and edit. I don't rely entirely programme."
Angela De Freitas of Choices Career Advice in Kingston who supplied Heslop's mother with the Career Key Tests notes that the test is based on the fact that "birds of the same feather flock together, i.e, people of the same personality type fork well together in environments which suit their personality type." She states, "It is just as reliable as any other."
The career advisor cautions that not every test done on the Internet is useful. "Beware taking the wrong path based on evidence which is incorrect. The majority are unscientific. When choosing a test make sure it is attributed to a reliable source."
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