i have a friend who works in graphic design and he works his own hours
according to him you must have an extensive portfolio with quality art work. Also its a good idea to create a website that displays your art work, bio, etc... for potential employers to take a look at. and also if you don't live in a big city like the San Francisco Bay area, you might want to pack your bags now, consider moving as soon as you graduate saving up now so you are not stuck in the middle of nowhere with no opportunities for a steady career as a graphic artist
I'm a graphic designer. With the economy now, it's not easy, but not hard to find a job either. You really need to look. Hours are pretty standard, from like 10-6 from the firms I've seen. Yes of course you can advance, graphic designers work their way up to senior designers then hopefully to creative directors.
My boyfriend took video game graphic design and works at Wal-mart. It depends a lot on your willingness to relocate. It takes a lot to get noticed too. And depends on who you know (he had one interview threw an aunt, and still didn't get the job). We don't want to move and the only place here that makes video games wants years of experience and a portfolio. If you want a job right after graduation. Start on that portfolio now.