Study Design Abroad: Marusa Rimc, Slovenia to Shillington New York

Would you love to try something new and finally take the plunge to embrace your creativity while living in a new city? Well, studying design abroad at Shillington could help you make it happen!

Marusa Rimc has been a creative since childhood and realizing graphic design was her passion, she decided to study 3 months full-time at Shillington and graduated with a beautifully designed portfolio in December 2017. As a designer, she likes to find creative solutions to challenging briefs. 

Read on to learn more about Marusa’s story on how she discovered Shillington, her favorite school project and advice to succeed in the program.

What were you up to before Shillington and why did you decide to study design?

When I was younger, I always felt a need to create something, whether that was drawing, making bracelets, collage, drawing or playing with Legos. While considering what courses to study, I knew I wanted to do something creative. I went to classes that prepared me for the university and also took classes in architecture and fashion design but realized that wasn’t right for me. I kept searching and came across graphic design, which seemed like the perfect mix of what I was searching for. I wanted to study abroad to broaden my horizons in the design field. I started to search for different colleges and courses which is how I came across Shillington.

While at the university, I was enrolled in a course taught by a guest lecturer working in the industry and I still remember his first presentation. He said he had taken the course at Shillington and I got really interested because the projects he worked on were truly amazing — I thought this has to be a good school. After speaking to him about the course and his experience, I decided this would be a great opportunity based on his recommendation, since my objective was to gain practical skills and to create a strong portfolio.


Have you done any creative work before starting at Shillington?

I worked on assignments for people I knew and for events/festivals I helped to organize. I designed a website for a small business and also created social media banners, posters and billboards.

If you could give advice to someone starting at Shillington, what would it be?

Trust the process! It’s a commonly heard phrase at Shillington, but it helps every single time when the brief seems too scary to start with. Another advice I would give is to take a chance if you’re considering this program. Even if you have studied design before you’ll be able to learn a lot and improve your skills.

What’s your favorite project from Shillington?

It was a branding project for a small business called SoupitUp. The client wanted to open a small restaurant and asked for a unique, personal and friendly identity to bring her homemade soups to life. Her goal was to make customers feel like a part of the story. For the look and feel, I decided to embrace her unique approach to mixing soups and creating happy accidents. For the project, I designed an app where consumers can mix their own soups and pick them up at the shop. To start, I created branding mood boards (persona, competitors, logo, typography, visual elements and color) for the research and extensive idea generation, followed by many pages of sketches to come up with the final concept. All of the critiques given by the teachers during the process were very helpful.


Designers have a big impact and our role is to help the client tell a great story by showing it visually and representing the brand accurately by communicating the message effectively.


Do you think designers have any responsibility beyond making things look nice?

Designers have a big impact and our role is to help the client tell a great story by showing it visually and representing the brand accurately by communicating the message effectively. During the course, the hardest part of the brief was coming up with a concept. A computer is only a tool and it’s our job to come up with a strong idea.

Are there any websites that you like to use for inspiration?

Identity Designed, Unsplash, Pinterest, and Design Inspiration.


What are your plans after graduation?

First I have to return to Slovenia to finish my university and diploma thesis, and after that, I am open to different opportunities. My main goal right now is to land a job where I can continue growing as a designer and exploring various fields of graphic design. I would love to work in a design studio abroad or back in Slovenia.

Is there anything else you wish to add?

My work became much stronger after the Shillington course. I found the whole approach to starting design briefs to be very valuable, such as the research, mood boards, and sketches. The experience also gave me a glimpse into what it would be like to work for a design studio, which I really liked.

Huge thanks to Marusa for sharing her Shillington story! Check out her website for updates.

Do you want to change your career path and study abroad like Marusa? Read other study abroad stories and our interviews with graduates who made the most of the M1 Visa to study at Shillington New York.