Earlier this week AGDA Queensland invited creative students to Speed Dating. Students had three minutes to pick questions out of a box and quiz industry professionals. Once the buzzer rang, it was onto the next!
#shillobri teacher Dahlia Ishak was a featured professional, and was so impressed with the bright, enthusiastic students. Today on the blog, she shares her impressions and key advice from the night.
The “Speed Dating” concept is the perfect way to add a spark to networking. How was the night?
The students’ energy was contagious! With each new date the student was all smiles and open ears. It was really nice to see them come out and make the most of this opportunity. They were really embracing the experience.
I was really impressed with these students who put themselves out there, and heard much of the same from other speakers around the room. The industry people were joking that being on the other side of the table is much easier than when we all experienced things from the student perspective. It takes a lot of nerve from the students, but was worth it. They all came out reeling with excitement, new connections and tons of gratitude.
No doubt there was heaps of good advice flying around? What were the top ten tips?
Stay persistent with your goals.
Let your personality shine.
Do your research—know about the studios and roles you apply for.
Put more time into cover letters—they should be tailored to each studio and role and offer more insight into what attracted you to the position (i.e. how that matches with your goals, skills), what can you contribute to the team and what else you bring to the table.
Connect to areas of interest outside design and bring your design skills into those areas (i.e. fashion, health, music, business, startups, education). Often these industries are in search of designers, but students are only searching for jobs within the design industry itself.
Make genuine connections with people—get out and enjoy the company of like-minded peers!
Ask for coffee meet-ups with people you click with, but understand the difference between annoying networking and making real connections.
Be open to anything. Take a job and keep learning. This is more important than waiting for your “dream position”—you never know what can come of it and there are many ways to get there.
Keep practicing with side projects.
And overall, don’t give up!
Why are events like this important?
It can be hard to stay motivated and stimulated once school is over. Coming out to events like this gives students, and graduates that boost of energy to keep them moving forward and sets in place opportunities yet to be discovered.
I also want to say a huge thanks to AGDA for running these events. I attended a speed dating folio session as a student nine years ago and that evening opened up so many doors for me over the years. I can still remember it. It’s very cool to come back and experience it from the other side. One thing that’s the same though is that students who put themselves out there are the ones that find the most opportunities.
Thanks to Dahlia for giving us the run-down. For any potential students considering studying design—Dahlia will be hosting the Shillington Info Session on Friday 3rd July. Come along to pick her brain and learn about kickstarting your creative career.