Before Shillington, Nicole Rogers was an advertising account manager. Surrounded by creative people, she envied their day-to-day projects and decided to head back to school and become a graphic designer. Since graduating, she’s landed a job at Birchbox, aka the “most fun job [she’s] had by far”. Read on to hear her Shillington story and why she loves working as a graphic designer.
What were you up to before Shillington?
I was working in advertising as an account manager. My job was to act as an information funnel between the clients and the rest of the agency (that means producers, project mangers, planners, art directors, copywriters, etc…) So, I was surrounded by creative people on a daily basis. It didn’t take me long to realize that I would rather be the one concepting and creating these designs.
Why Shillington? What made our design course stand out from the rest?
I looked around for almost a year at different design programs in NYC. They were either too expensive or took too much time to complete (or both on many occasions). Shillington stood out to me because I already had a couple years of work experience under my belt, and wasn’t interested in spending another 2-3 years in school. I was hungry and anxious to get my newly-chosen career path on track.
Shillington was great because it only took me three months to complete, gave me all the exact skills I was looking for, and gave me a great introduction into the design industry in general.
Where are you working now? Tell us about a typical day!
Now I am working at a company called Birchbox. It is a beauty/grooming subscription service and I absolutely love it. It’s the most fun job I’ve had by far. A typical day can consist of lots of different tasks. I’m either attending a project kick off meeting, of sketching/mocking up emails, online display ads, or assets for the website.
What do you love about being a designer?
I love the challenge of making designs functional and beautiful at the same time.
Since my job falls under the umbrella of the marketing team at Birchbox, I have to consider our customers’ motivation and what speaks to them. I enjoy that challenge. I think it can inform designs and sometimes push you to create something that’s better than what you would have originally come up with.
Do you have a favourite recent Birchbox project?
I get to work on so many different projects that it’s hard to pick a favorite. I really enjoy any project that requires concepting and brainstorming for photo shoots in our studio, or that allows you to play with illustrations. It’s fun to be able to take a step back from the computer, get some inspiration, and work with so many talented and creative people to make a vision come to life and live within the brand.
What was your favourite Shillington brief?
My favorite Shillington brief was the hand-made project. I enjoyed being able to see how something you create off of the computer could translate into a digital space. I also enjoyed the freedom to choose what you wanted to work on. It was like a dream brief.
What were your teachers and classmates like?
Everyone was extremely supportive. My classmates were amazing and so fun to be around. It was as if Shillington gave us this immediate community from the very first day of class.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting at Shillington, what would it be?
Take all criticism and feedback as a learning experience–even if you’re coming to Shillington after already working as a designer. It helps to be open-minded in such a fast-paced environment so that you can absorb all of the information that’s being given to you.
What would you stay to someone skeptical about the Shillington course?
I would say if you’re even a little bit interested in a career in design, it is definitely one of the more valuable, worthwhile courses out there. The full-time option was a great choice for me–even with the stressful portfolio week at the end of it. I’ve also heard amazing things about the flexibility of the part-time option.
Want to kickstart your creative career like Nicole? Study graphic design 3 months full-time or 9 months part-time at Shillington in New York, London, Manchester, Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane –> shillingtoneducation.com