Don’t believe you can totally change your career by studying 3 months full-time or 9 months part-time at Shillington?
Read these amazing stories from our graduates, who switched careers as accountants, marketers, teachers and dancers to become graphic designers. Check out their work, watch videos and learn more about how they took the plunge, and you can too!
I knew it was a big jump to quit my career and relocate, so my rationale was that if I found I didn’t enjoy it, a 3 month career-break wasn’t too long to explain on my CV. However, two weeks into the course, I was utterly in love.
Read Amee Wilson’s Shillington story. She was a major doodler at school, but once she graduated, a creative career never really crossed her mind. She thought of it more as a hobby. Flash forward to working in marketing with creatives, and seeing how design “combined creative thinking with logical and visual solutions”, and she decided to study design. After a lot of research, she settled on Shillington.
I was a dancer and a dance teacher. I wanted to change my career path and still do something creative! Shillington’s full-time course was a perfect option for me, as it allowed for a quick career transition.
Read Alexis Waller’s Shillington story. Two days after graduating back in 2011, she landed an internship at Frost*, one of Australia’s top design agencies. That internship turned into a full-time role, and since then she’s worked at two other top agencies—eventually headhunted to move to San Francisco and work at Apple! These days she’s in New York City as a Design Director at R/GA.
Before Shillington: Math Teacher
After Shillington: Junior Graphic Designer at MIISTA, Graphic Designer at Thumbs Up
Prior Education: Bachelors Degree, Mathematics Teaching
The transition from my old career to my new one, has been life changing; it’s involved learning a lot new skills in a very short space of time, moving to London, forming new friendships and networks and learning to adapt to a new working environment.
Read Mark Osmond’s Shillington story. Even as an experienced Maths Teacher and Head of Department, he had a long-held ambition of being a designer. Find out how “the learning experience was positive and nurturing, and it provided me with the perfect launch pad into my new career. Although this has involved a lot of sacrifice and compromise, it has been a fantastic roller coaster ride of emotion and experience that has been totally worth it.”
Going into the course I was still skeptical that I could be a designer, because I never sketched or painted, and that’s what I always thought graphic design was about. I didn’t think I’d really grow to become so passionate about it.
Read Emily Campos’s Shillington story, including a video showing the process behind one of her UX/UI briefs! Find out how her desire to combine her “passion for people with her fascination of hi-tech” led her to study design at Shillington.
I had already studied for six years in college and I didn’t have the time to go back to school for an additional degree in graphic design.
Read Pooja Dharia’s Shillington story. She was working as a project manager at the Food and Drug Association in DC, but felt an itch for creativity. Learn how studying design helped her launch a new career and “the best part is that [she] can still use the science part of [her] brain to do background research and to inform the design and concept.”
I attended my Shillington graduation, and the very next day I got my first full time design job.
Read Amy Sheehan’s Shillington story, who made a major career switch from acting to design! Studying graphic design helped her build a career where she could “freelance in order to have the flexibility to pursue [her] other passions.”
It took me four years to work up the courage to apply to Shillington. Applying was the best decision I’ve ever made and I only wish I’d done it sooner!
Read Erin Gale’s Shillington story to find out how she traded her museum career for a design role at a major international brand. She stumbled upon the ad in Frankie Magazine, and knew Shillington had a great reputation from friends in Brisbane.
I’ll describe my feelings at the beginning, middle and end of the course: Excited. Exhausted. Euphoric!
Read Ulrika Johnson’s Shillington story, including a video of her student portfolio. Art was always her favourite subject in school, but she never considered she could pursue it as a profession. The revelation happened whilst working as a lawyer: “I finally had a career—but was it me? I didn’t decide to shift professions overnight. In fact, it happened very gradually over the course of seven years as a lawyer. I felt a growing, and soon an overwhelming, need to express my creativity. It just came to a point where I realized that I invested all my emotional energy and passion into my “hobby” instead of my job. There was no alternative except to turn my hobby into my career.”
It’s such a safe learning environment and the teachers were always there to catch you if you felt like you were going to fall.
Read Meg Walker’s Shillington story. She spent “four years of kicking and screaming” as an External Auditor at Ernst & Young, but found her true passion while studying design. Get some real talk about how the course is “a lot of hard work and [she] definitely found it to be an emotional experience, especially for the first time making yourself vulnerable by sharing what you create”.
I couldn’t have dreamt of a better environment, especially at such a vulnerable time of my life where doubts and uncertainty were daily companions.
Read Araki Koman’s Shillington story to discover how she quit her marketing job to study at Shillington. She found a freelance design job right after graduating, traveled around the world—studying textiles and fashion along the way—and now has her own freelance business, based out of Tokyo. We especially love her top three tips for someone thinking of changing careers: (1) Embracing my creativity have been an amazing self-discovery journey! (2) Follow your curiosity, it will expand your life’s perspective and your potential in tremendous ways. (3) Each new skills and experiences you’ll learn will add up to each other and will help you design a life and career tailored for you. A great asset in the era we currently live in.
I loved my class and my classmates and now I can’t imagine doing anything else as a career. Shillington really prepares you with all the skills you need to enter the workplace afterwards.
Read Linda Gao’s Shillington story. She attended an Info Session and was so impressed with the student portfolios. “I knew it was the right choice for me.”
After working for six years, returning to student life again takes some getting used to, but it is totally outweighed by my increase in happiness! Cheesy I know.
Read Romayne Gadelrab’s Shillington story. She made a major switch from medicine to design, and even though it wasn’t “the easiest” and there are “so many societal pressures to stick to your good stable job”, she doesn’t regret following her passion. Now she works in design and serves as a City Host for The Design Kids.
Working in the industry post-Shillington, I have never once felt incapable as a designer, which is a testament to the teachers and the content of the course.
Read Alexander Rog’s story, including how “at a young age [he] fell victim to the get-rich-quick theory of decision-making when choosing [his] university degree”, but going back to study at Shillington helped him launch a career he loves.
I took a huge risk leaving my permanent marketing position to study design, but can honestly say I’m super happy I started Shillington when I did.
Read Tahmena Lutfi’s story to find out how studying at Shillington helped her switch from fashion to design at a major Australian brand. Find out how “it wasn’t until I was working on marketing collateral with a graphic designer everyday in my previous role that I worked out it was visual communications that I was interested in.”
The fact that I could walk away in 3 months with comprehensive skills and be competitive with other designers who had 4 year degrees was the icing on the cake.
Fresh out of high school, Kelly Hansen moved from America all the way to Australia to study design for 3 months full-time. With zero design experience, she was able to learn the design software, create an amazing portfolio and land design jobs straight away.
I have always loved art and design and wanted to back myself to see if I could turn it into a full-time career. With no formal background in design a friend recommend Shillington as the best place to kickstart my career in design.
Pete Conforto thought about studying at Shillington for ten (!) years before finally taking the plunge in 2016. Read his story to discover how he went from surf to studio, now working at one of the top creative powerhouses in Sydney, For the People.
It’s not an easy course by any means, but you get so much out of it that I’d recommend it to anyone with an interest in design. In fact, if you could do it twice, I probably would.
Read David Scott’s story. Find out how after ten years in software sales, “an area [he] fell into but was never really passionate about”, he moved to London to do the Shillington course. Now he works as a designer at an agency in London.
My worst day as a graphic designer will always be better than my best day as a bank employee.
Read Olivier Adam’s story. He was always passionate about graphic design, but never thought he could make a career out of it. Even while enjoying a super successful banking career, “all [the] perks couldn’t fill the emptiness [he] felt from not knowing why [he] was getting up in the morning.”
Shillington has been one of the best investments for myself and for my country.
Ina Estrada got an M-1 Student Visa to study at Shillington in New York City and made a major switch from Investment Banking to design! She had played around with the Adobe programs a bit, and now she runs her own studio in the Philippines.
I couldn’t believe how much I’d learnt after just 3 months and how much my confidence had increased.
Read Louise Hamer’s story, who went from stage to studio! Find out how she changed careers with Shillington, and how her “training in acting gave [her] great confidence and communication skills which has really helped when presenting work to clients.”
Would you love to make a big career change? It’s possible at Shillington—in only 9 months part-time! Become a graphic designer by taking the online graphic design course at Shillington.