At Shillington, our graphic design course helps people with no prior experience become creatives, but we also welcome many trained, self-taught or already-experienced graphic designers to upskill and improve their practical skills and creative process. We’re so proud when existing designers retrain with us, graduate with a jaw-dropping portfolio, find new confidence and land their dream jobs in the industry.
Read on to meet 20 Shillington graduates who—after starting or completing creative degrees and diplomas—decided to head back to school and study design 3 months full-time or 9 months part-time at Shillington. Check out their work, watch videos and learn more about how they fast-tracked their design careers, and you can too!
Shillington really prepared me for the fast-paced nature of the industry, so I was able to hit the ground running.
Read Ray’s full interview. He had dipped his toes into the creative industry by teaching himself web development, but while working at a small agency he felt that he lacked the ability to make his own visuals and explain his decisions. His time at Shillington equipped him with the skills to springboard his knowledge into a graphic design position, and since graduating in December 2017 he now works at Oink Creative in London.
Manchester School of Art was a great experience for teaching conceptual thinking, visual experimentation, traditional print techniques and historical, social and cultural contextualisation but at the time I experienced a lot of self doubt and felt like my limited technical skills and conceptual portfolio weren’t enough to get into industry.
Read Caitlin’s Shillington story. She studied art and design at university but after 7 years made the decision to return to studying at Shillington to learn digital design, improve her technical skills and diversify her portfolio. Since graduating from Shillington London in 2017, Caitlin spent some time freelancing before getting herself a job at T Brand Studio, The New York Times’ in-house design studio—where she designs and art directs their interactive digital projects.
Graphic Design is a very practical discipline, and three months is enough to achieve a good knowledge of the basics and to develop good taste—the rest I guess will come with experience, passion and constant research.
Read Bianca’s Shillington story. She completed a Masters in Interior Architecture in Milan before deciding to upskill and retrain as a graphic designer at Shillington. She’s had a few design roles since graduating, most recently landing at FutureBrand, a global multi-disciplinary agency that makes brand experiences for a more connected future.
Even though I was excelling at university, I was very dissatisfied with how we were being taught design and it actually made me kind of hate it!
Read Eman’s full Shillington story. She was studying graphic and product design, but the way she was being taught actually made her “kind of hate it”! She moved to America and discovered Shillington—the perfect fit for “being an extrovert who mostly learns by interacting with other people, having conversations about the subject-matter and loves challenges.” Flash forward and now Eman is now working as a Designer at KAIRO, collaborating closely with creative and strategy teams to come up with solid and insightful concepts.
What are you afraid of? I know 3 months seems like a long time to go without a steady income but it’ll all pay off.
Read Jordan’s full Shillington story. She had a degree in Interior Design, interned in that field, but unfortunately had a bad experience that shattered her confidence. Finding herself working back in retail, she decided to persist in her dream of having a creative career. Jordan loved how at Shillington “everything we do is current and I didn’t have to worry about only seeing my lecturer for a few hours a week.” Flash forward, and Jordan landed a role at Principals in Sydney.
I’ve got a degree in Illustration, but had absolutely no idea how to translate that into commercial work. I had a bar job and told myself that I’d do creative work on the side, which of course only happened in drips. I’d definitely recommend Shillington to other people in my position—the course connects you with the wider design world and gives a lot of confidence when it comes to working in an actual studio.
Read Halah’s full Shillington story. While finding it difficult to translate a degree in Illustration into commercial work, Halah turned to Shillington to up-skill as a graphic designer—enrolling on the 3 month full-time course at Shillington Manchester. Since graduating she snapped up a role as Brew Tea Co’s first in-house designer, a role which she’s thriving in, seeing it as a chance to ‘work on everything from swanky new packaging, to seasonal campaigns’ all whilst juggling the amazing illustrations she makes for her Instagram feed.
Shillington allowed me to jump back into the creative career I started at uni. It helped me refine my computer and design skills, and gave me the confidence and a good folio to apply for jobs as an Art Director.
Read Emily’s full Shillington story. Emily studied design at Shillington six years ago, but a lot has happened since then. She’s worked as an Art Director at a major advertising agency, travelled, freelanced and most significantly … founded Bravery Co. after beating cancer not once, but twice. Bravery Co. is an award-winning a headscarf retailer “helping young cancer warriors feel stylish and confident at a time they need it the most”.
Almost every professional opportunity I’ve been afforded as a designer—internships, freelance work and employment—has come about as a direct result of studying at Shillington.
Read Hamish’s Shillington story. Before Shillington, Hamish Snow studied industrial design and worked in retail, but after discovering the world of graphic design, he became obsessed. After “much research and side-by-side comparison”, he studied part-time at Shillington and graduated at the end of 2014. Where is he now? After three years at Josephmark, he’s now a Product Designer at Rexlabs in Brisbane.
I discovered Shillington and it was like a lightbulb went on above my head. The program seemed perfect and a new course session was starting in only a few weeks. It felt like kismet! I made a few calls, scrounged up my savings and within a few days I was enrolled and attending my first class.
Read Keiran’s full Shillington story. Her passion for design evolved from her love of art, cinema, and culture. Since graduating from Shillington New York in 2015, she has been working as a multidisciplinary designer on projects ranging from branding and packaging to digital marketing and UI. In her current role at Victoria’s Secret PINK, she conceptualises merchandising strategy into designs for marketing campaigns.
I didn’t have the patience to go back to studying 2+ years at University. Shillington offered a fast track alternative.
Read Bianca’s Shillington story. She found herself working in hospitality, but had studied advertising at TAFE and always felt a calling to the art direction/creative side of things. She chose Shillington to get into the workforce fast. Since graduating in 2011, Bianca has interned at IdN in Hong Kong, designed at Urban Walkabout and Satsuma, and ultimately landed at eBay, where she works in their New York office.
Shillington was a practical way to get my technical skills up to a proficient level. The course geared me to think as a designer, manage deadlines and develop a strong process. My Bachelors degree gave me a great deal of theoretical study, but it didn’t promote the practical skills in the same way.
A friend recommended Shillington and I was sold after seeing her portfolio and hearing about the jobs she was landing right after the program.
Read Tiffany’s Shillington story. Tiffany Yee had a Fine Art undergraduate degree, but had limited technical knowledge and longed to work as a professional graphic designer. Enter: Shillington. After a recommendation from her friend with an amazing Shillington portfolio, Tiffany made a bold move to New York City to study for 3 months full-time. Armed with her stellar portfolio, Tiffany landed a design job in the fashion industry with Forever 21.
It was the coolest thing ever knowing that although I studied design on the other side of the world in Brisbane, I could get a job straight out of study in London, because of Shillington!
Read Jessica’s Shillington story. Before Shillington, Jessica was a uni graduate interning at a start-up clothing boutique. But after graduating, she changed careers—and countries!—after only 9 months part-time in Brisbane. We love that she landed the role at Beyond Communications through a job announcement in our private #Shillumni Facebook Group!
I was skeptical about Shillington, even while I was going through it. It all sounded too good to be true! But you are dedicated and willing to learn and try new things, you will leave the program ready for real—world design and things will fall into place. I feel I am a prime example of that.
Read Greg’s full Shillington story. From Shillington to Nike! We love the creative journey of Gregory Bemis. After dropping out of a four year design degree, he studied at Shillington New York back in 2014 and in the same year—took his illustration and design talents west to Nike headquarters in Oregon.
Prior to Shillington, I was a bit lost and stressed about what I was going to do with this little life of mine. [Shillington was] the best 3 months of my life, and after that 3 months, it only took a few weeks of job hunting to land one.
Read Bobby’s full Shillington story. When Bobby Hendry discovered graphic design (aka “problem solving creatively”), she realised it would be the perfect fit for her math/art brain. But one semester into a university design degree, she craved a more hand-on, less theory-based approach. So what did she do? Thanks to a friend’s recommendation, she decided to make the big switch to Shillington’s 3 month full-time course. Two years on from her 2016 graduation, Bobby has kept super busy designing and recently landed an awesome role at Brilliant Logic, while running photography business Idlewild Creative on the side.
Shillington did an amazing job of preparing me for the industry. It is a dream to be able to mix my love of art and design at my job.
Read Lily’s fully Shillington story. Lily Moore was looking for a change and wanted to find more steady and creative work. After taking a design class and researching a few schools, she decided Shillington would be the best option. Shortly after, she enrolled in the 3 month full-time course in New York and started on her path to becoming a designer! Fast forward a few months, she now found a dream job as a designer at Sotheby’s, working on a wide range of print projects for exhibitions.
Paul Hallam studied design with an illustration major at university, but didn’t work in the industry for about 12 years while working a different job. He decided to get back into design and needed to update my training, but didn’t want to do a diploma or degree that covered what I already had studied. Now he work as a freelance graphic designer and children’s illustrator.
[After uni], I felt my technical skills in the Adobe Suite could be stronger and faster. I learnt a lot about the creative industry at university and where design sits in the field, but wanted to take the time to specialise in the profession.
Read Stephanie’s Shillington story. She was already a university-trained designer when she enrolled at Shillington in 2014. She was bursting with creative ideas, but wasn’t 100% happy with her portfolio and felt like she always did things the long way around in the Adobe programs. The full-time course in Brisbane helped polish her software skills and build a killer portfolio to take on the design world. After graduating she freelanced, worked at Lorna Jane and eventually started her own studio, St. Clement Creative.
The course wasn’t only useful from the design perspective, but you also learn many other things that are essential for a designer, such as having a process and planning for work. Learning while doing was what I liked the most. I lost my “fear of the unknown” and enjoyed practicing with the software while working on specific projects.
Read Margherita’s Shillington story. She was already working as a designer in Berlin, bur realised she wanted to “take a step back and do a full immersion in the graphic design world to improve my skills even further and refine my visual style.” Since graduating she’s built an impressive creative practice, working between Florence, Berlin and Manchester.
Shillington was the best learning experience I’ve had by far. It’s intense. It demands a lot from you but you get so much from it. It’s engaging, supportive, practical and inspiring. The curriculum is extensive, the teaching excellent and you’re with a fantastic group of students that become true friends.
Read Jane’s Shillington story. She had a creative background, but found herself working in education and marketing. With the Shillington website bookmarked for more than a year, she finally popped in for an Info Session and was convinced to sign up for the 3 month full-time course. After Shillington, Jane landed an internship at top Melbourne studio Paper Stone Scissors, eventually being brought on as a full-time employee.
Thinking about Shillington but don’t have prior design experience? Check out 20 Amazing Designers Who Had No Design Experience Before Studying at Shillington.
Find out more about becoming a graphic designer in 3 months full-time or 9 months part-time at Shillington in New York, London, Manchester, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.