If you need to make a statement – a big statement – Eric Forbes is the one to call.

Forbes, a former Columbus State Community College architecture, engineering and design student, is the operations manager for Orange Barrel Media, a Columbus-based advertising company that operates in seven major markets across the United States.

While Orange Barrel uses a wide variety of creative techniques, it is probably best known for its supersized wallscapes - advertising that dominates the sides of downtown buildings - and large electronic and LED advertising screens.

Forbes budgets new jobs, schedules work and creates CAD drawings and 3D models of new wallscapes. He says the practical approach to learning at Columbus State had a direct impact on his work at Orange Barrel.

"Aside from the class work, they taught me two valuable lessons: Never give up on what you believe, and always be creative."

"When I was first hired on, I was an installer working on the side of buildings putting up these huge vinyl wall murals," Forbes says. "Knowing the composition of the building helped greatly with certain factors, such as which anchors or fasteners to use. When I moved inside to be a part of the creative design department, my computer experience with AutoCAD, Sketch Up, and Revit also came in use."

After he was promoted to be assistant operations manager, he drew on a different aspect of his Columbus State training, such as architecture and construction management. "Now, as assistant operations manager, all the culminated skills I learned at Columbus State help me greatly."

Forbers says that Columbus State's influence on his professional life extends far beyond the practical learning in the classroom. It also includes the inspirational.

"Tom Robbins and Mike Hosler were great teachers and role models," Forbes says. "Aside from the class work, they taught me two valuable lessons: Never give up on what you believe, and always be creative. Those two bits of advice helped get me through quite a few struggles in the workplace, and I will always remember them for that."

Images: A Year in the Life of Columbus State