Jennifer de Klaver has covered a great deal of ground in her life and career thus far in terms of both geography and work industries. Her migrations for study and work seem to have cultivated a sense of adventure and ease moving from one work field to another—a quality that is especially useful in the present day.
De Klaver’s work life began in corporate special events, a field she entered after earning a degree in business administration from the University of Washington. Traveling for pleasure and work (de Klaver briefly worked as a flight attendant) helped to rekindle a long held interest in art and design that was instilled during her childhood in Europe. De Klaver’s interest grew into a serious passion, and she sought a way to incorporate it into her work life. Searching for a study program that fit her experience and goals, she found Parsons’ associates degree program in Graphic Design. As soon as she arrived to Parsons, de Klaver found she had made the right choice. “My experience at Parsons was incredible. The instructors, environment, and classmates taught me the nuances of type, the importance of a concept, and that true passion must infuse all you create,” she says.
After graduating from the AAS Graphic Design program in 2005, de Klaver invested some time at Parsons’ career services and at job fairs. She began her own design business, taking on clients like successful accessories designer Colette Malouf, the Chelsea Art Museum, and Sonia Kashuk. Representatives of Target saw her design portfolio and contacted de Klaver, offering her a position as a senior art director that brought a change of landscape to the discount retailer’s Twin Cities world headquarters. “I learned so much from working with one of the most innovative, creative, and philanthropic corporations in the design and advertising world. I oversaw branding and advertisement of Target Home designers and packaging and lookbooks of Target’s fashion designers. I was involved in catalogs, large scale photo shoots, advertisements, packaging, and in-store signage. The experience has been amazing, and Parsons has been a huge part of my success,” de Klaver explains.
In February of 2009, de Klaver was lured from the snowy Minnesota winters to the sunny ones of Los Angeles to serve as vice president of cocodot, a startup online invitation and greeting card website. Her current position combines an undergraduate education in business, her work at Target, and the AAS program’s use of new media and design as tools for powerful, effective communication.