Life as a graduate 

Brands currently being worked on

Brands currently being worked onFor those of you who haven’t read any of my previous blogs: I studied graphic design at Staffordshire University for 3 years from 2012-2015. I genuinely had the time of my life there, it was easily the best 3 years of my life, particularly the third year. The people I met
were incredible and will be life long friends. Some of the things I did and places I visited were amazing, I went to Tokyo and New York, hiked the Peak District and did other things I wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t gone to Staffs.

Employers will have plenty of people with the same degree as you applying for one job but what is it that makes you a cut above the others?

Aside from getting a graphic design degree, I also achieved a lot of other things whilst at university such as winning design awards, ambassador awards and other accomplishments that have set me up for my career/ life after university. Having a part time job whilst at university really helped me, not only did I get to make more friends through being a student ambassador but it helped me get into a routine which led to having a better work ethic for my degree. Going to university isn’t just about the degree it’s about the life experiences you have, other activities you take part in and accomplishments you make whilst there.

The reason I had such a great time at staffs is not just because it had a lot to offer but because of my attitude to take as many of the great opportunities that were available there. Hard work and an open mind is the key to having the most amazing time at university and there’s no reason anyone can’t have an amazing time like myself, and lots of other students have had at their universities.

So, since my last blog… I was offered a full time job as a junior designer at JKR! They are one of the largest design studios in London and are the most awarded agency of 2016, so I’ve joined at an exciting time. We are designing some amazing packaging, our recent projects were redesigns for PG tips, Domino’s pizza, Budweiser and Irn Bru.

As a junior I am heavily involved in the design projects, which I didn’t expect but have been given great responsibility and opportunity to lead projects. I work closely with my team and other designers around me in the studio, my main roles are idea generation and the early design stages. Generally a project will work like this: I will come up with 3-5 different ways of designing a piece of packaging, I’ll show it to my design director who will normally tell me which are the 3 best ideas that I should explore more and make them look better. These 3 ideas will then be presented to the client, we’ll then take 2 of their preferred routes forward and make improvements. This will be represented until the client is happy with 1 final design, this then gets passed on to our visualisation, realisation and artwork teams who bring the pack to life and get it prepared to be printed and ready to go to shelf in stores.

I love my job so much, it doesn’t feel like a job at all. Design is my passion which I get to do on a daily basis, it feels like a bonus at the end of the month that I’m actually getting paid to do what I love doing. I still can’t believe how lucky I am to be a designer.

Not only am I working on some amazing projects and learning from great designers around me. Our studio is just so cool, we have 2 cats that stroll around, a table tennis table we can use whenever we feel like getting the blood flowing and having a little break from sitting down behind a desk. We have a bar in the studio! We’re located next to the canal and Camden market which is an incredible part of London that is always vibrant and full of interesting things and people. We have a lot of fun as a company, like at university we have ‘socials’ where we get together and take part in fun activities such as pancake night, movie night, going to exhibitions and going out for drinks together.

Obviously all jobs and workplaces are different but I hope my enthusiasm comes across, if there’s a subject you’re passionate about you too could be in my position in the future.

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