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Hear straight from our graduates.

If finding a career in design is what you want, then Shillington is without a doubt the best step you can take towards achieving that goal!

Designer, Toyfight

Carl McBride

Why did you decide to study at Shillington? What made you choose our course over others?

I was managing a bar in Manchester and I had been thinking of a career change for some time. I moved to Manchester originally 10 years ago to study at university. After graduating from my undergraduate degree I began a career working in the hospitality industry but I always felt like I had a creative itch that needed to be scratched. A friend of mine who is a graphic designer had told me about Shillington. She encouraged me to consider enrolling—so I went along to one of the Info Sessions. After speaking with the teachers and graduates, I was immediately taken in by how great the course sounded.

The teachers were friendly and engaging and they explained how the course would give you the tools and knowledge needed to become the type of designer that you wanted to be. Former students shared their experiences of how completing the course led them into their first design jobs and how they’d made great friendships along the way. I knew right then that, this was the course for me!

What have you been up to since graduation? How has your life changed after Shillington? And what was it like graduating mid-Pandemic?

Despite the pandemic life has been pretty great since graduating. I started a new job as a junior designer with an agency called ToyFight, based here in Manchester which I love. It was a strange experience starting a new job remotely, now, 9 months later it’s nice to finally meet them all in person. We’re a great team!

With regards to the course, it was an adjustment at first making the switch from studying at Shillington in Manchester to studying at home but credit to all the Shillington staff. Especially our teachers, John Palowski and Mehul Patel, for adapting quickly and making the transition as smooth as it could have been. Graduating felt like such an achievement, it’s an incredible feeling seeing the fruits of your labour after months of hard work.

Having a finished portfolio and being able to call myself a bonafide designer was a very proud moment, especially knowing I’d achieved it through the pandemic!

Did you make any meaningful connections with teachers or fellow students during the course? Have you all kept in touch?

Yes, one thing about the pandemic meant that we joined groups on WhatsApp and Slack to message each other. We’ve all kept in touch and we regularly speak with one another, whether it’s to share job roles we’ve seen, share something we’ve learned or even just to chat.

The groups are a really great source for advice, feedback and support! We’re all planning to meet up in person again now that we are able—post lockdown.

What was your favourite brief on the course? Tell us your process!

I think my favourite brief would have to be the Corporate Identity brief. We were tasked with producing a concept, branding and rollout for a Museum. Mine was the Museo del Oro in Bogotá, a museum of Pre-Colombian gold artefacts. It was great seeing the brief come together from the initial concept phase right through to the finished project.

The process began by immersing myself in the subject, trying to learn as much about gold and the history of the museum as I could. From there, the initial concepts started to form. The logo itself came from combining the chemical symbol Au with a hieroglyph the ancient Colombian people used for Gold. The hieroglyphs planted the idea of “making your mark” and from there the project began to come together. It was a lot of fun producing the different collateral and having the freedom to take the brand where I wanted to.

What would you say to someone who is sceptical about the Shillington course?

I had high expectations for the course, and it surpassed all of them! It’s intense, but you have all the tools and the support you need to come out at the end of it with a portfolio you can be proud of. If finding a career in design is what you want, then it’s without a doubt the best step you can take towards achieving that goal!

Visit Carl’s website and read his full interview on the blog

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