Working on live briefs and meeting industry professionals prepared me for my career
Tell us about your experiences on the Graphics course?
The course was unbelievably valuable for me and my career. The practical approach to teaching was great, by having things like live briefs, and presentations to agency professionals developed skills that prepared me for my career and left me feeling confident for the ‘real world’.
I had lots of one-to-one time with the lecturers due to making the most of the time we were given, which was great, you can really soak up their knowledge and experience and they are always happy to help as they really care about your progress and helping you achieve your goals.
The opportunities that came from the course were amazing, due to the Design Competitions Module that we completed I won a D&AD New Blood Award which launched my career in ways I never imagined. I had lots of interest from local and national design agencies and had a hard time choosing which one to pick.
What have you been up to since graduating?
Since graduating I have been working in an agency environment and purely focused on developing my skills and portfolio. I chose an agency where I could work on a huge range of types of projects so that I can get the most out of this first step of my career. My aim is to gain as much experience as I possibly can before I launch myself into something bigger. I have also been doing projects aside of work, freelance for small businesses or small projects of my own just to keep my passion flowing.
Where are you working now?
I am currently working at Icon Creative Design, in Newport. When I joined, Icon was a very small agency but over the past year we have experienced significant growth in clients, and in our team. The work has changed direction (as expected) and is turning digital focused, which I have fitted right into.
What is your daily workday like?
At the moment from home, but still lots going on. Every day is different and that’s what I like so much. I will have projects that lend themselves to my skills assigned to me, which I will work on from start to finish (e.g., Websites). Then other times we work as a team and I have responsibility to provide support to the newer members of staff when needed.
What projects or types of projects have you worked on?
The projects I’ve worked on since starting cover branding, web design, illustration, campaign work, animation, print design and so much more. Managing my time independently is super important, in order to get all of my jobs done in time for deadlines.
I’ve been part of projects that have done great things, such as the BumpitForward Fundraising Campaign for Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. And the work we do for the British Transplant Games, giving people in unfortunate positions a community in which they feel strong and able. We also design the Swansea University Prospectuses, which won the GOLD Award for best undergraduate prospectus in 2020 (Heist Awards).
How did the Graphic Communication course help you get on your career path?
The opportunities to meet industry professionals gave me some relationships before I left uni. This resulted in possibilities for me. Also, the communication skills I gained on the course, in regard to selling myself and my work was invaluable and gave me confidence for interviews and networking.
The way in which the lecturers push the students to be better, and to always question yourself and your work prepares you to succeed in the fast-paced environment of the industry.
What was your favourite module/s that you worked on?
My favourite module has to be between the Design Competitions Module, as the outcome of winning the D&AD Award was just fantastic for me and my career.
But as far as the value of the work and the problems that I felt it solved, I would say my Final Major which focused on Sex Education and the issues surrounding it. I was extremely passionate about the topic and it allowed me to show off my energetic style and personality through the work whilst solving a real difficult issue. It showed me that pushing boundaries and not being safe all of the time sometimes works best.
Why should a young creative pick the Graphic Communication course?
I’d urge you to pick this course if you’re a career focused individual who really wants to learn. If you are passionate about design and it’s something you really want. The lecturers will challenge you and will push you and give you a good boost into the ‘real world’.
What words of advice would you give anyone that’s just about to start the Graphics communication course?
So many opportunities are there, but you have to have the drive and the vision to take them. Don’t just do the bare minimum. Turn up every day and take as much time from the lecturers as you can, soak up their knowledge and the atmosphere. Create relationships with people and get your name out there.
Oh and, don’t worry if you don’t know what your niche is. That will come. Just dip your toes into everything and don’t be afraid to fail.