10 Reasons to Hire a Shillington Graduate

Two people shake hands at a Shillington graduation

So, you’re thinking of hiring a Shillington graduate? Hell yes you are! Here’s a cheeky top-ten to remind you why a Shillington graduate on your team is exactly who you are looking for.

By the end of their time at Shillington, our students are being hired straight out of graduation by employers hungry for the what they have to offer. With many of our Shillumni portfolios winning prizes in the student and graduate work arenas internationally, more and more employers are taking notice. For anyone unfamiliar with this term, we say, “Shillington + Alumni = Shillumni”

In this top ten we will be talking about why Shillington graduates are:

  1. Familiar with a busy studio culture
  2. Tackling briefs with confidence and flexibility
  3. Mastering industry standard software in an incredibly swift timeframe
  4. Able to receive and action feedback professionally
  5. Have eye-catching portfolios
  6. Work effectively to realistic deadlines
  7. Dedicated to career expansion and upskilling
  8. Utilising their diverse perspectives and career histories as assets
  9. Make exceptional freelance hires
  10. Keeping the energy high in the studio

Have we piqued your interest? If you’re looking for some fresh talent to enrich your company, read on for our 10 reasons to hire a Shillington graduate.

1. Familiar with a busy studio culture

At Shillington, our goal is to prepare our students for the real working life of a designer. Every day the sounds of music and conversation fill our busy classrooms. From day one, our students are immersed in design and everything that comes with it. Multiple daily briefs are presented that encourage engagement and collaboration, alongside equally challenging independent projects. In essence, our students are immediately acquainted with the rigour, pace and changeability of working life as a designer. In the words of Shillington NYC graduate, Emily Campos,

“I really loved the professional environment Shillington created. It really mimicked a day at work, the strict timing, the fast paced projects, the multitasking. It made the whole experience much more practical, and applicable to everyday life in the field.”

For full-time students, spending 9 hours a day/ 5 days a week in the classroom really crystallises the intensity and standard set in any busy design studio. Whereas part-time students are often arriving in the classroom following a day at their full time day jobs and commit to creating great work within this busy schedule. So, whether in our 3-month or 9-month course, our graduates have lived and breathed the rhythms of a busy design space and come out raring to go.

2. Tackling briefs with confidence and flexibility

The diversity of the daily briefs delivered in the Shillington classroom puts our graduates in the perfect stead to consistently deliver to any brief they are handed, with a trained sensitivity to the needs of their client. Our course forges a design methodology steeped in design fundamentals and versatile ideation. Shillington graduates are encouraged to “have ideas that could get you fired”, to explore beyond the mundane and come back with something great. It’s about challenging an original conception of a brief and taking it ten steps further than their initial instinct. In essence, it’s being rigorous, flexible and methodical in their creativity. And it produces incredible results. The Shillington classroom is a space for big ideas, with a huge outcome of designers who are not only capable, but driven to explore beyond the mundane and deliver exceptional work.

Shillington student exploring ideation in class

3. Mastering industry standard software in an incredibly swift timeframe

Many Shillington students start the course with absolutely no experience on the tools, and sometimes with no creative background. This is not a limitation here at Shillington. Our course merges technical skill development with creative execution in a fast-paced, structured learning environment. Every class the Shillington teachers introduce their students to new essential skills in the programs before jumping straight into their next brief. The learning is intensive, in-depth and at pace with industry standards.

Of course, the mastery of any skill requires dedication, hard work and immersion. Within as little as 3 or 9 months, our Shillumni graduate as fledgeling designers who are confident and proficient across essential industry-standard programs, including InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Sketch. As Shillington London graduate, Alessandra Conti reflects,

“I think that in just 3 months I achieved much more than I ever did in my BA.”

This is the competitive edge that Shillington offers students and the industry. Our graduates prove that you don’t need to study for years to learn the software to produce an incredible portfolio and find work as a designer.

4. Able to receive and action feedback professionally

Critiques promote creative adaptability. With regular pin-ups and critiques throughout each brief, our graduates have become accustomed to implementing revisions, taking on criticism, defending their design choices or even heading back to square one and starting again. Through the process of fielding and wielding criticism in a professional and constructive manner, they have learnt to be creatively nimble in response to feedback. This means that rather than getting stuck on one beautiful idea, Shillumni are taught to generate a diverse creative output before focusing in on a final direction. Mark Osmond, a Shillington London graduate said of the classroom experience,

“I really enjoyed the collaborative approach where we worked in groups to get the best out of one another. This ability to critique and defend your designs has proved invaluable when it comes to creating new ideas and pitching to clients in the real world.”

By promoting the confidence to develop, shift and defend their designs, the outcome is grittier and more resilient designers who arrive in the workplace prepared for this key reality of the industry. So, you can trust that your new Shillington hire will fit into the culture of communication and collaboration necessary for delivering truly excellent design work.

Shillington teacher consults student

5. Have eye-catching portfolios

The consistency and quality of Shillington graduate portfolios speak volumes. The incredible results we see at graduation epitomise that old, faithful saying, “You get out what you put in.” Those who fully commit to the Shillington experience come out with portfolios stacked to the brim with projects which are catching eyes throughout the industry.

Many prospective employers are snapping our graduates up at the source. Recent graduate Amy Sheehan says of completing the course,

“I attended my Shillington graduation, and the very next day I got my first full time design job.”

Not satisfied with these amazing results alone, our graduates also continue to take home the accolades globally. You can read about the 74 Shillington Finalists and 7 Distinctions for AGDA Student Design Awards 2019. You can read more about prize winning Shillington student work on our website.

We bet you can’t wait to discover the hottest new talent from Shillington. If so, you should attend our next Graduate Exhibition! It’s an awesome opportunity to meet our graduates and see their work before anyone else.

6. Work effectively to realistic deadlines

With real-world briefs delivered daily, the Shillington classroom reflects the scope and pace of the industry. As Shillumni Alexis Waller puts it,

“The course really prepared me for the reality of the design world. Each day at Shillington felt like a full working day, which really helped when it came to real world deadlines.”

Our graduates leave the Shillington classroom with well-trained efficiency to create designs, without sacrificing any creativity and flexibility in their approach.

Additionally, this translates well into freelance work. “I can now confidently explain and deliver in-depth branding solutions to business owners and clients of all ages. Not only has it been easier to collaborate with other artists and companies, it also has been easier to team up with media companies to provide online content to influence others to fervently work hard to be a future builder of the world through design.” says Shillumni, Ina Estrada. Ultimately, this means Shillington graduates swiftly become an well-integrated addition to your team, in any capacity.

7. Dedication to career expansion and upskilling

Learning is a lifelong adventure. This is reflected in the career paths of our Shillumni, many of whom have moved through several career changes before entering the Shillington classroom. Not satisfied to stand still, our Shillumni go from strength to strength in the months and years after completing the course. Some choose to diversify their skill sets and exploring new avenues of practice through upskilling.

An important point to remember is that upskilling isn’t simply continuing to attend courses. Personal research and passion projects are a huge driving force for professional and creative growth. Here is an independent Medium article written by New York Shillington graduate Irina Manning, who continued to invest time and energy into her education following Shillington and now works in UX Design.

This dedication to career advancement and investing in skill development is something we are seeing across the board with Shillington graduates. Some Shillumni take it a step further and make the leap to start their own businesses. Studio VCR is a multidisciplinary female lead design studio founded by Shillington graduates, Vanessa Kutchukov and Rosalind Brady.

We had the opportunity to ask them about how their approach to upskilling following graduation. Rosalind Brady says, “After Shillington I decided that I wanted to learn more about digital design. Code Academy proved to be a good place to start for HTML/CSS and Javascript. It’s interactive and free, for the most part, which is a big plus. MDN Web Docs are great too. I’d really like to take some of the Super Hi courses too. Both Vanessa and I also use Skillshare.” Co-founder Vanessa Kutchukov agrees and added that websites such as Designer News, Side Bar and Hey Designer were also excellent resources in the process of upskilling. We have an upcoming Industry Interview with Studio VCR coming to the Shillington blog very soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

Shillington students smiling and laughing

8. Utilising their diverse perspectives and career histories as assets

Every Shillington campus is a melting pot for creative, dedicated people to take action in changing their lives and careers through our course. Our students commit significant amounts of time and money to make their vision of a career in design a reality. Yet, this isn’t the only thing that makes them exceptional. What often makes Shillington graduates stand out from the crowd is their diverse experiences previous to starting a career in design.

While so many of our younger graduates make a big splash in the industry, Shillington also boasts a robust community of more experienced, mature aged students who achieve great things after Shillington. For example Shillington London graduate, Romayne Gadelrab completed 11 years of medical training and worked as a doctor before following her creative career aspirations and studying full time at Shillington. She now works as a freelance designer and is a city host for The Design Kids in Barcelona.

Mark Osmond spent many years working as a Maths teacher and Head of Department before staring the course at Shillington. As he put it,

“Shillington had the best course to suit my needs in terms of a quick career transition, learning environment and final outcomes.”

Of course, we could go on forever and there are innumerable stories to share. If you’re curious for more stories of our graduates’ lives before and after Shillington, you can head over to read more Graduate Testimonials or peruse our blog post about 20 designers with no experience before Shillington.

9. Make exceptional freelance hires

Not every company is looking to hire and house their employees in a bricks and mortar workspace. Additionally, many Shillington graduates gravitate to the flexibility and versatility that freelance work offers. Shillington London graduate Khadijah Adbul Nabi said of her decision to study at Shillington, “[Before Shillington] I was working as a freelance designer with the basic knowledge of the tools, but without any formal training on how to go through the creative process when pressed with a tight deadline. I also didn’t understand industry standards, effective workflow and really pushing my ideas to their full potential. Shillington taught me all this and more.”

The ability to network and scope out opportunities makes Shillington graduates an incredible addition to your team. They bring with them unique perspectives and fresh industry connections.

“My current job came about because I met a designer who worked at Mapway at a design event, and he told me about a vacancy they were looking to fill. It can be both scary and tiring to attend a lot of events but it really helps to find others who you can share with. Luckily, I’ve found the Manchester creative scene is very friendly, supportive and eager to be collaborative.”

says Shillo Manchester graduate Veronica Humphris. As many organisations shift towards a gig-based approach to hiring, ultimately it is this ability to explore and take initiative that really sets Shillington graduates apart as freelance hires.

10. Keeping the energy high in the studio

In an industry interview with Shillington, Andy Lawrence shared his views on studio culture,

“I think it’s important to consider both the studio and the work culture. Studio culture is important as you spend the majority of your day at work, so it’s important to enjoy the people and environment you’re working with. Work culture is important too, as you want to feel like you are doing the type of work you want to do in a culture that values creativity.”

By graduation, it is not only the quality of work that is highlighted, but also the quality of the people. As many organisations are prioritising personality and social fit over technical skills, we believe that when you choose to hire a Shillington graduate, there is no compromise. These people arrive at Shillington with a passion for design and the determination to kick-start their careers and leave prepared to be communicative, generative and engaged employees who uplift the culture of their new workplace.

Curious to see more Shillington student work? Check out the portfolio projects of our recent graduates in our Student Showcase.

Keen to share the word about an amazing new design opportunity at your company? You can post a job on our Jobs Board now.

Or are you thinking of changing to a career in graphic design? Consider studying graphic design at Shillington for 3 months full-time or 9 months part-time in New York, London, Manchester, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane –> www.shillingtoneducation.com.

Want to win some amazing prizes and stay in the loop with all things Shillington? Sign up to our newsletter to automatically go in the draw.