Transition from Student to Junior Designer - My Journey
My first job working in the design industry has highlighted so many differences to my studies throughout university, and in truth I have realised that university does not fully prepare you for a modern working environment. University however, does offer you the leads and connections to gain as much insight as possible before graduating, but it’s only from using these connections wisely that you can become ready to secure yourself a great job.
I entered my final year of university with strong grades which I imagined to be enough to take me through to starting my career but in reality I’ve not been asked about my grades once, other than a quick glance over my CV. What I have found to be the most important thing is being able to show that you have used your own initiative to meet with people working in industry to help you improve your skills, portfolio and even potentially lead to some work experience. As a designer the proof really is in the pudding and your portfolio and what you do outside of work to develop yourself speaks volumes.
The softer skills are also a huge factor in not only securing a job but securing the right job. Being able to be confident enough to work independently but flexible enough in your approach to be part of a successful and collaborative team.
A number of designers agreed to meet with me to go through my portfolio and share their knowledge on how to improve it to meet with industry standards. From this point onwards I noticed a huge change in my design technique as it was becoming a lot more user friendly. This led to me getting an interview with Desap and the opportunity to show off my skills.
Desap saw the potential that I had and offered me a job which started a week before my graduation. Starting a job as a junior designer is quite different to the work within university, but with the mentorship offered by the design team I quickly started to get into how things work within a company and I’m still continuing to learn now.
A good example to give is being able to learn a new software (Sketch), which the lead designer mentored me through, and in return it has made my UI skills a lot stronger. Not only have my design skills improved but I’ve also been given the opportunity to get involved in business meetings and meeting with clients which has built up my understanding about the industry and improved my confidence.
Not only have my design skills improved but I’ve also been given the opportunity to get involved in business meetings and meet with clients which has built up my understanding about the industry and how we effectively manage our projects, and it has improved my confidence to the point where i am now able to fluently present my work, ideas and rationale directly to our high profile clients..
Looking to the future I can see that I have the opportunity to use the mentorship and coaching offered to me at desap to progress further in my career. I have set myself professional goals that I have gone through with my line manager to help me create a clear direction for my progression.
Based on my own experience, my advice to anyone who is about to start a new career path is to put yourself out there and communicate with others so that you can build on your existing skills. There are always plenty of people out there who are willing to help others improve.
I now strangely enjoy being pushed out of my comfort zone as I have the support behind me from my colleagues. I am confident in voicing my opinion and i work much more effectively with my colleagues not only in the design team but across the wider organisation.
I see a bright future for myself and aspire to develop into a stronger and well rounded designer and employee. I am passionate about the projects I work on and take genuine pride in the work I produce.
Interested in working with us?GET IN TOUCH