Hear straight from our graduates.
Then it hit me—why don’t I just pursue what makes me happy and pave myself a career in design?
Studio Designer, Spring St. Social Society
Before Shillington you worked in media and advertising. Why did you want to make a career change?
Back at University I chose a degree that I felt was valuable, multifaceted, and what I thought would be creative — a BA in Business, with a specialization in marketing. I had ideas of possibly going into media and advertising because those industries appeared to be fun and maybe a little glamorous. After graduation, I soon found that at an agency they stretch the definition of “creativity” (unless you are are solely in a creative position) to include how to best communicate with audiences through reading and interpreting data creatively. However, my strengths were always more visually creative and consistently I struggled in my first jobs within the media industry. In addition, I was not excited to go to work every day nor had I had aspirations to work my way up to higher positions along this career path. That’s when I realized I needed to change my focus to one where I could use my creative skills to then find a career I found enjoyable and highly rewarding.
Why did you decide to study design? And why Shillington?
After moving to NYC and traveling more often, I found myself making friends with many people in the design industry. I enjoyed spending time with people I could relate to, but at the end of the day I was envious of their career opportunities. Then it hit me—why don’t I just pursue what makes me happy and pave myself a career in design?
I battled back and forth on whether this would be the right career change. Could I afford it? This would be the right time to do it, while I’m still young and not too deep into a career. But, I can’t afford spending another two years of my life in school, in addition to what it would cost. I could do small late night courses, but will that prepare me for a career in design? What if I don’t get a job afterwards? During my research I stumbled across Shillington and thought this could be the answer. However, it seemed too good to be true. I needed to learn more and as soon as I could, I attended an Information Session in addition to a Graduate Panel. Not only was I overwhelmingly impressed and had all my questions answered, I immediately applied to Shillington the next week.
Now you work in-house at a creative agency. Tell us how you landed the role! Did you feel confident with your Shillington portfolio?
I was incredibly lucky right after graduation. I had not applied to any jobs, yet I was sought out after seeing my portfolio created at Shillington. I had known the founders of the company that I work at for two years, right after I moved to NYC. During my time at Shillington,we were playing with the idea of an internship after I graduated. I wasn’t too thrilled with this idea because I needed a full time paid position to be able to survive in the city. However, soon after graduation my current bosses saw my portfolio and all that I have learned during my experience at Shillington, they soon was offered a full-time in-house position.
What advice would you give to a Shillington student on day one?
On Day One, don’t get too overwhelmed right away. The teachers, and how the course is designed, will set you up for success. Surprisingly in three months (this still shocks me), you will learn all the programs and become a confident designer in the real world… even though on the first day it seems like an impossible task.