Where do you work?
After completing the course in London I worked as a freelancer for a few months before being offered a full-time contract working for Cambridge Consultants Ltd, a product design and development company in Cambridge UK (not to be confused with Cambridge, Massachusetts, where they also have an office)!
What is your role?
I work as graphic designer in the Marketing and Communications department. I am one of only two graphic designers for the whole company, including the US office, so things are never dull! The department is small, only six of us in total, so I work closely with the PR and marketing directors. My role involves updating the website with new product promotions and press releases, producing the banner displays and associated flyers/booklets etc. for promotional events and also guiding the use of digital presentation material. I also design brochures and reports plus magazine and web advertising for the company's other departments.
Did you feel confident about entering the design industry after you graduated?
Surprisingly yes, given the economic climate! I knew I had gained the skills needed to do the job well so that made the interview process a lot less daunting.
What were you doing before the course?
I was working for the Arts Council in Visual Arts and Literature.
Why did you decide to do the course?
I had wanted to work in graphic design for some time but hadn't found the right course to re-train me and build the portfolio I needed to get into the industry. The full-time course at Shillington meant that I could re-train and start looking for work within only a few months and I saw that it would actually teach me the skills needed for the job.
What was the most valuable thing you took away from the course?
SKILLS! And confidence. But mostly skills. Being able to produce good work to tight deadlines is definitely valuable and, having discussed interview feedback with friends I made on the course, it seems to be a trend that potential employers find it hard to believe our portfolios are the result of such a short course.
Where do you see yourself in 12 months?
In 12 months I hope to still be at CCL. I am definitely learning a lot and they are investing in me. One day last week I was on a Dreamweaver course and, just today, I was on a Flash course. Next week I will be learning Fireworks and After Effects. Of course if my premium bond ever pays out I may have to re-think my plans!
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Probably designing the layout and also sourcing and editing the images for a product brochure, discussing proofs with the printer and then getting 1500 finished copies delivered to my desk. That was all in my second week on the job!
Shillington graduates talk about life after completing our course.