Melissa Geurts

For anyone who’s ever doubted trusting their gut, they should look no further than Durham College (DC) alumna Melissa Geurts (Graphic Design, 2008). While she confesses to choosing her program based solely on instinct, Geurts’ career path is proof of just how powerful intuition can be. As the creative director at Good Housekeeping magazine, a monthly women’s lifestyle magazine with an audience of more than 38 million readers, Geurts is responsible for the creative direction of the publication including editorial conceptualization and design execution, overseeing a team of 10 designers. She also oversees all creative for digital, video and event collateral. While it may seem light years away from her days at DC’s Oshawa campus, Geurts doesn’t hesitate to connect her career success to the amazing start she made at the college. “The internship offered as part of the Graphic Design program at DC was crucial to the beginning of my career,” she says. “I was able to take the tools I learned in school and apply them in the real world, while still having the support of my teachers and peers. I learned SO much in those three months and it also confirmed and solidified my passion for editorial design.” Making the most of her internship with Style at Home magazine in Toronto, Geurts parlayed it into her first full-time job. From there she moved to Chatelaine, a Canadian institution if ever a magazine was one, where she worked for five years, contributing to a major overhaul of the glossy and eventually being named design director in 2013. “In that time we took Chatelaine to #1 in Canada in all categories: fashion + beauty, home, health and food,” Geurts recalls proudly. “Now I couldn’t be more excited to work with the amazingly talented team at Good Housekeeping.” Reflecting on her DC experience from New York, where she now lives and works, Geurts does recall some pain points in her student days, particularly when it came to finding her niche in a program as diverse and versatile as Graphic Design. It was a great relief when something finally clicked. “After five minutes in my first editorial design class, I made it my mission to work in magazines,” Geurts recently told the blog This Renegade Love. “I literally wrote it out on the first page of my notebook and that was the beginning of this wild ride.”