Alumnus starts own design company
Mar 22, 2016
Posted in: News
By Hiba Ahmad
Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture
Web Content Intern
At the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Cultureprofessors often remind their students about the importance of being excited and motivated by the work they do. Steve Sherba, a 2012 alumnus of the Robertson School, credits advice like this and other opportunities at the Robertson School that inspired him to establish his own advertising business, 837 Design.
After graduating, Sherba went on to use the skills he crafted during his time with the Robertson School to work for advertising companies and ultimately to establish his own business.
Sherba launched 837 Design in September 2014, only two years after his graduation. The business is based in his hometown of Fredericksburg, Va.
“837 Design is a company with one thing in mind: to make businesses greater by solving real business challenges through design,” Sherba said.
Advertising wasn’t always the plan for Sherba, however. He initially came to VCU with hopes of becoming a physical education teacher. He worked his way through many different majors to find the perfect fit. After exploring other majors and tracks, Sherba found his calling at the Robertson School.
With previous experience in graphic design, Sherba found his calling in the creative advertising track. This would serve as the jumping off point where Sherba would begin crafting his professional portfolio.
“Being in the creative advertising track taught me how to hone those self-taught skills and better understand client needs,” Sherba said. “My favorite thing about the creative track was the continuous challenge of solving ‘high-hanging fruit’ problems.”
Ashley Rose, assistant professor of advertising in the School, taught Sherba during his time as a creative advertising student. She credits his self-directed and motivated nature as two main things that lead him to being successful in his class assignments and in establishing 837 Design.
“Successful people, not only in advertising, but everywhere, have the ability to get excited about every assignment,” Rose said. “Every single assignment should be looked at as a portfolio project, which means it should be regarded as the possible thing that gets you the job that you want.”
Rose urges current students to challenge themselves so they too can achieve their goals of finding jobs, or pursuing entrepreneurship opportunities. With technological advancements and new techniques to gather and distribute information, students studying mass communications face an evolving industry. Sherba encourages students to embrace these changes.
“I’ve only owned a business since September 2014, and I’ve become a better person because of it,” Sherba said. “It’s a slow growth, but it’s growth and that’s great to me. If you love what you’re doing, do it the best you can and enjoy it.”