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Hear straight from our graduates.

Shillington really did prepare me. Changing careers has been a whirlwind, and I am still in no doubt that it was the best decision I have made to date!

Designer, ThumbsUp

Andy Tharagonnet

Where are you working?

I am working for ThumbsUp a gift and gadget company. I am part of the in-house graphic design team that create the bespoke packaging for their bigger clients. Each varies but its always busy. I could be checking artwork from the factories, readying the artwork files to send for production, creating dieline cutters for new packaging, creating concepts for new packaging for clients or even mocking up some proposals of new products for future lines and season trends. If there is a job that needs a creative eye or hand, then the design team pitches in.

I’ve learnt a lot and have been able to show the company that Shillington graduates are more than ready to hit the ground running. The course really did prepare me, and since changing careers it’s been a whirlwind, I’m still without a single doubt that it was the best decision I have made to date!

Tell us about your time at Pentagram.

It was a week placement. The team really utilised me as they would a junior designer—there was no tea-making or photocopying. It was straight to work making changes to designs for a client on a live project following feedback they had received that morning. The experience really gave me a taste for studio life and made me more eager to get straight into a job.

What was the most surprising thing you learnt?

Just how much Shillington teaches you in three months and genuinely how it’s structured to get you studio ready, I was scared that I would be out of my depth, but I was more than fine. I felt confident doing everything that was asked of me—even the “boring jobs” were fun.

Why did you decide to take the plunge and enrol at Shillington?

I never intended to to work in IT, but kind of got stuck in a rut. I didn’t really enjoy the job. There was no job satisfaction, nothing spurring me on and no creativity. Each day was pretty much the same as the last so it came to the point where I thought “enough is enough” and decided to jump feet first into a new career. I had seen the course advertised and had been saving for it, but something had held me back, and I think that it was fear that I might not be good enough. However, as soon as the course started, I realised that enthusiasm and passion for design would carry me through until I perfected the skills that the course would teach me.

How did you feel celebrating at your Shillington Graduate Exhibition?

I think the overwhelming feeling was that of pride, not only for what I had achieved but also the rest of my classmates. The buzz in the gallery was electric and just looking around and seeing my friends showing off their work to friends, family and industry, made all the hard work and sleepless nights worthwhile.

Visit Andy’s website and read his full interview on the blog.

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