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I was stunned at the quality of the portfolio I had created as a result of my Shillington education. It makes you industry-ready without cutting corners and is 100% worth the time and financial investment

Junior Designer, Marks

Matt McKay

Before Shillington, you were working in Sales. Why did you decide to make the switch over to a creative career? Did you have any design experience?

I was made redundant as a result of the pandemic and came to a bit of a cross-roads; do I continue down the same path or give myself permission to use my creative passions as a full-time vocation? I had a little bit of experience with Photoshop, designing gig flyers for local events but that was it. Let’s just say, since enrolling at Shillington and becoming a graphic designer full time, my mental health has never been better.

Why did you choose Shillington? What was it about our course that caught your attention?

With a mortgage and bills to pay, I wanted to retrain in a short-time frame so that I could get back in to work as quickly as possible. The fact that Shillington’s full-time course condenses essentially 3 years of university in to 3 months, it seemed almost too good to be true!

However, when I saw the quality of work from previous students and the scope of topics covered in the course, I was blown away and was convinced that Shillington was as good as people said it was.

What was your Shillington experience like? Your class started in person but transitioned online when the UK went into lockdown—what was that like?

My experience was fantastic. Our lecturers Nick Smith and Lovish Saini were super supportive, understanding and patient throughout the entire term. They did their best to make sure that our experience was not diminished by having to switch to online learning.

I was blessed to be part of an amazing group of people who were crazy keen to learn and succeed, so even though it wasn’t an ideal scenario we made sure that we banded together to keep banter levels high and helped one another when the pressure was on. It was just as educational and rewarding online as it was on-campus.

Did you make any meaningful connections with teachers or fellow students during the course?

Absolutely! Before starting the course, a wise friend told me that making genuine friendships in this industry is so important and that my classmates could be potential future-collaborators, so I had every intention of putting in the effort to make connections; little did I know that it wouldn’t take much effort at all!

Our lecturers were always up for a laugh and together it felt like a little family (we certainly ended up spending more time together as a group than we did with our own families!). Everyone in the class got on really well. We encouraged each other, supported each other and celebrated each other—and we continue to do so to this day, even after graduating. It wasn’t the reason I enrolled at Shillington, but I’ve made friends for life and it’s so awesome to see your fellow graduates succeed, post-Shillington.

What would you say to someone who is sceptical about the Shillington course?

It really is as good as you hope it is. Shillington turns graphic design ‘zeros’ into industry heroes. By no means is it an easy ride – the course is intense and so much content is packed in. You go through all the emotions of a 3-year University course but the final product speaks for itself.

I was stunned at the quality of the portfolio I had created as a result of my Shillington education. It makes you industry-ready without cutting corners and is 100% worth the time and financial investment.

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

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