Are you thinking of studying design abroad? Lots of our amazing graduates combine their love for design with their passion for travel by moving to a new city to be inspired by a new environment while studying for a new career.
To hear more about these enlightened globetrotters we caught up with recent graduate Mia Dellore who moved from her home country of Slovenia to experience the quirks of Manchester. Mia tells us what it was like making the move, her Shillington experience and how she’s now based in Milan where she works as a Junior Designer.
You’re originally from Slovenia but you’re now based in Milan. What attracted you to Shillington and specifically our Manchester campus?
I am now based in Bergamo (close to Milan). I’ve always studied away from home and traveling has always been one of my favourite things, so when I came across Shillington, I was happy to face a new opportunity of living in a place where I haven’t yet and at the same time, learn something I’ve always dreamed of. I chose Manchester because life is cheaper than in the other cities (to be frank).
How did you find studying on the course, did you feel there was a sense of community at the campus—any highlights to share?
We were all in this together, it was like a family somehow. We shared the same feelings and excitement, and towards portfolio time… even all the stress and tiredness 😀
Many times I thought to myself that I felt more at home at the campus than at the actual home I lived in in Manchester.
Was the process of relocating to Manchester for 3 months fairly easy? Any tips for people hoping to do the same? The process wasn’t particularly difficult, as I am used to moving from city to city. The only difficulty I encountered was finding a decent home because I had very little time to do it as I came to Manchester only a week before starting the course and I didn’t know anyone there, not even the city itself. But in the end I made it and fortunately I was there with my boyfriend, who came with me to do an English course, so his presence helped a lot.
A tip could be to move to Manchester a bit earlier if it’s possible so you have the time to get to know the city before the course begins.
Can you tell us some of your favourite things about living in Manchester—any recommendations for students hoping to study abroad?
One of my favourite things in Manchester was street art. I loved wandering around the Northern Quarter and taking pictures of the street art I came across. The NQ, in general, was really inspiring, because of the number of arts shops, nice coffee shops and different kinds of people. I suggest to new Shillos in MCR to have a look at Magma, a magazine/book store that has amazing graphic design material.
Alongside your design website you keep a personal blog ‘Looking for Mia’ can you tell us a bit about this?
I started it with one purpose: finding my way. It wasn’t a good period for me, I was working in the communication office of a chemical company as a kind of mediator between the creative agencies and the company, but mostly I was attached to my email inbox all day. This lack of creativeness killed me and every time I had to talk to creative agencies and designers as they had to do tasks for the company, I was thinking to myself “No Mia, you don’t want to be here, you want to be there, doing the creative job!”. So the blog was something that let me be creative: it let me deal with photography (which is one of my secret passions), design and writing (also one of my passions).
In the end, my blog really did help me find my way as soon after I decided to quit that job and enroll to Shillington. I think it was the best decision of my life.
What have you been up to since graduating from Shillington/what’s next for you in the design world?
Since graduating, I’ve taken a 3 weeks long break in Slovenia and just relaxed and enjoyed my free time. But some of my friends immediately asked me for minor tasks like designing some logos for them etc. Soon after that, I applied for a job in Bergamo and after a week of trial, I actually got it—it’s in a digital creative agency called Bespoken and I work here as a Junior Graphic Designer now.
Do you think the skills you learned during the course have prepared you for the design industry and do you see graphic design as a globally applicable skill?
Absolutely. It is incredible how many things you learn in so little time. You learn a new profession. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be prepared enough for a job immediately, but now I see that even if I learn new things every day, I am ready for it. In the end, even senior designers learn new things day by day, so it is completely normal, I guess, that sometimes I have to ask my colleagues how to do something. I think that the world will always need graphic designers, in every possible field, so it definitely is a globally applicable skill. We all like to see things that are pleasant to the eye, right?
Any words of wisdom for students about to start their Shillington experience?
Don’t be scared, everything will be alright, it’s all an adventure!Just be organized, sleep when you can, eat well when you can, treat yourself! 🙂
If you’re starting from scratch, I did too, had a million fears and they all disappeared as soon as the course started.
From your experience, would you encourage others to study abroad?
I ALWAYS encourage people to study abroad. It is a great opportunity because, besides acquiring new skills, you make new friends, meet new cultures, lifestyles and this always enriches you and changes you for the better.
Huge thanks to Mia for sharing her story with us
Want to study graphic design abroad? Study at Shillington in New York, London, Manchester, Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane —> shillingtoneducation.com