Hear straight from our graduates.
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.
What were you up to before Shillington? Did you have any previous design experience?
Before Shillington I was working full time in retail. I had previously studied design. Initially I studied branded environment which I loved however I went travelling as you do when you’re young and studying, and when I came back the course was no longer being offered. This lead me to finish my design degree in interior design. I briefly interned and worked in the field and unfortunately had a bad experience which shattered my confidence completely and made me turn back to retail.
Why did you decide to study design? Why Shillington?
I decided to study design initially because I had done a subject in high school which very briefly touched on different design disciplines and I really felt drawn to the design world. I was always artistic but I never wanted to study fine arts, I liked that design had the creative and conceptual side but also had a function, purpose and problem to solve.
I decided to return to study design because although I had a bad experience I knew this was the career I wanted to have. I was always more drawn to communication and graphic design I just didn’t listen to my gut. I had seen Shillington come up on social media and the more I looked into it the more convinced I was that needed to do it. I tried and tried to find a bad review about Shillington but there was nothing but glowing reviews and recommendations. I loved the idea of studying full time mostly because it would be like a real job but also because I didn’t want to waste time! Everything we do is current and I didn’t have to worry about only seeing my lecturer for a few hours a week.
How did you land your job at Principals?
I actually saw an internship opportunity posted on a design Facebook community page. I had my reservations about doing an internship. I didn’t want to be taken advantage of and I didn’t want to give up paid work if I wasn’t going to get anything out of it. I did a bit of research on them and looked into not only what they do/ what they have done but I also checked out their socials to see what their culture was like. I obviously liked what I saw and applied for the internship. They had actually already gone through my portfolio before I came to the interview. They said they saw a lot of potential, which I think was because my Shillington lecturers made sure my portfolio showed a variety of skills. We chatted and they got to know a bit more about me and then they just started talking about what I would be doing when I was here. It was a sort of “can we just jump back a couple steps” moment because what I thought was an interview for being an intern turned out to be a pre internship meeting of sorts.
They were really flexible with when I could come in and made sure that I started at a time when I would also be given attention and guidance. I got to work on a couple projects and have my work presented to clients which was great, they actually treated me like a designer and not just some rookie they needed to find something meaningless to do. After my stint as an intern one of my creative directors said that he wanted to make sure when I left they would help me out, they offered to get me in touch with recruiters and some of their connections at their studios. A few days later I had a call offering me a full time designer position at Principals, which I didn’t take my time to think about… it was a definite yes!
What would you say to people who are sceptical about Shillington’s fast-paced design course?
What are you afraid of? I know it seems like a long time to go without a steady income but it’ll all pay off. In the grand scheme of things three months really isn’t that long. Also, what better learning experience is there than being in a studio setting and coming in and working on realistic briefs Monday-Friday. Having also studied a design degree in a university type timetable I can honestly say there is such a huge advantage of learning this way. I personally think it’s such a waste of my time and brain power having a week between classes and trying to cram as much lecturer time and attention into a mere few hours a week. Let the creative juices flow and immerse yourself into Shillington’s way of learning and you will noticed how quickly design becomes your life in the best way imaginable, you will thank yourself for doing it.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I know a lot of people I studied with didn’t want to intern, and maybe it was because I was younger and hadn’t really had a career, some said they didn’t want to start at the bottom of the barrel in a junior position. A word of advice that someone gave me…
Sometimes it’s more than a monetary value. You can work at a job you’re really good at and get paid really well but never grow, learn or be promoted or you can work at a job where you don’t get paid a lot but you will grow, learn and be promoted. I think as a designer (or anyone, really) the latter should be the only option, you should always want to become a better designer. Don’t settle, you can do it!
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