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Student Affairs

Experience: Success


From kindergarten, Sydney Westphal knew what she wanted to do in her future career. She wanted to be an illustrator. Her love of graphic design, art and creativity deepened as she took graphic design and art classes in high school.

When it came time for her to apply for college and select a graphic communication program, Clemson was an easy decision.

“I knew that it would give me the most hands-on experience and I could learn stuff here that I wouldn’t learn going to other colleges,” she remarks.

Since arriving at Clemson, Westphal has thrown herself into graphic communication through classes, internships and student-run organizations.

As a part of their curriculum, all graphic communication students are required to gain real-life experience through a full-time internship. In the Fall of 2023, Westphal interned on-campus for Student Affairs Creative Services through Clemson’s University Professional Internship and Co-op (UPIC) program.

“Interning with Student Affairs Creative Services definitely taught me a lot about client work,” says Westphal. “It definitely gave me a lot more confidence as a designer because I feel like the feedback loop there is so positive.”

Sydney Westphal working as Design Intern at Student Affairs Creative Services, Clemson University
Sydney Westphal working with other students on a production night at the Tiger


Even though she never expected it, Westphal will be the first to tell you that The Tiger Newspaper has been one of the most defining parts of her Clemson journey.

Production nights are an all-hands-on-deck affair, with a dozens reporters and contributors squeezed into a cramped office, working on stories and wireframes into the wee hours of the morning.

Once the final checks are made and approval is given, The Tiger Newspaper is distributed by the students all around Clemson’s campus and a few areas in the local community.

Thanks to The Tiger Newspaper’s delivery route, Westphal struck up an unlikely friendship with President Clements. She began leaving personalized notes to him every time she delivered his copy of The Tiger Newspaper.

“He’s offered to write me letters of recommendation and offered to be a reference of mine,” Westphal says. “It’s great being friends with the president. Not many people can say that.”

I just feel like Clemson has prepared me very well...I know that everything I have learned here has prepared me so very well for going into the outside world and carrying on Clemson's legacy.” – Sydney Westphal


Now a graduating senior, Westphal is looking forward to the next chapter in her Clemson journey – pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in digital brand communication from Clemson’s MBA program, located in Greenville, S.C.

She hopes her MBA will eventually enable her to become a creative director of a company, leading the creative direction, branding elements and publication aspects.

Sydney Westphal graduating from Clemson Business School, Clemson University
Division of Student Affairs
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