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Hear straight from our graduates.

Go out into the world and meet people. Surround yourself with people who are better than you, who are doing things that you want to be a part of, even if it’s not exactly what you think you want to be doing.

Senior Art Director, TPN

Ani Monteleone

Ani Monteleone studied at Shillington New York

What was your biggest challenge during the course? Why?

For me, the biggest challenge was a personal one. Being a bartender whose workday started at 10pm and ended at 6am most nights for several years completely shifted my internal clock. When I had to start turning up for class at 8am (when I normally would have been going to sleep), I wound up with some pretty gnarly insomnia. So trying to learn at such a fast pace and absorb all this new information while being creative on literally zero sleep for months on end was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The plus side to that is I now have a whole arsenal of holistic ways to combat insomnia and anxiety, so if anyone reading this is struggling with these things, feel free to hit me up for tips!

What would you say to someone skeptical about Shillington’s 3-month design course?

Why spend years of your life and probably at least 4x the amount of money when you can learn the same amount and get it over within three months? There have been times at my job when I’ve given Adobe tips to people with more formal education in design who have been in the industry much longer than me. The fact that Shillington is always updating their curriculum to be current with what is happening in the industry and the fact that it is set up like an agency really prepares you to transition seamlessly into a work environment. If your goal is to get a job in graphic design, I highly recommend it. That being said, you do have to be very dedicated and hard-working since the program is intense and wouldn’t be a good fit for people who aren’t sure if this is the right path for them.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a designer?

Go out into the world and meet people. Surround yourself with people who are better than you, who are doing things that you want to be a part of, even if it’s not exactly what you think you want to be doing. If you don’t have your own project going on, get involved in someone else’s project to stay busy and inspired. Work really hard but be nice, be humble and be able to take criticism and embrace rejection.

Visit Ani’s website and read her full interview on the blog.

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