Where do you work?
What is your role?
Designer/Social Media Specialist
Describe your typical day as a designer.
Usually all over the place. I will be half way through one job and get put on another, then change again. It's a balancing act - I write everything down so I never forget to go back to a job.
I'm usually a graphic designer working on all sorts of print and web jobs. But I also work on social media projects (building html custom tabs for business pages, running promotions etc.). Sometimes I also build our smaller websites using hand written html code or a CMS based platform.
I work in Mooloolaba and I have a lot of freedom at work so when my eyes get sore or legs are stiff I just walk up and down the esplanade, very grateful for that.
What do you love about being a designer?
The freedom and creativity to do what you want, even if it's a small basic job, there's always a way to make it more exciting and learn new skills while you're doing it.
The learning is never ending, I don't think one designer will ever 'know it all' in every program.
What area were you working in before the course?
Why did you decide to do the course?
I always wanted to be an artist when I was little. Once I hit high school it was fashion design, interior design, landscape design and building design.
I finally settled on graphic design in grade 12 because it could branch out to so many new paths.
What was the most valuable thing you took away from the course?
The hands on experience we received from being treated like we were actually in the workplace.
Instead of going home to work on essays and assignments, we were working on jobs with real briefs and real deadlines throughout the course.
Also, learning web development comes in very handy and gave me a lot more opportunities.
How did you find the TAFE environment, facilities and teaching?
The teachers were great. I love that they had real experience and some of them still work in the field so they were very in tune with workplace standards etc.
How long did it take you to secure a job?
I started my first job at Umbrella Advertising in May 2010 (5 months).
It was tough, I had special folios printed for each studio to keep and went in and tried to talk to someone at each place.
I would follow up with a call a few weeks later. Finally, months later I got a call back, the staff had passed my folio around the studio and they decided to get me in for a week and it went from there.
What was the response like to your self promotion packs and websites during interviews?
Both places I had interviews told me it was the best folio they'd seen by someone new coming into the field - that was a huge compliment for me - twice!
Spending the time and money on it was so worthwhile, it gave me the job I needed.
What's been the highlight of your career so far?
The larger clients I've had the chance to work with... Pears Soap, CAMP Maple Syrup, Ozpig, Eco Power Savers, The Ginger Factory, Mooloolaba Surf Club... They were all highlights, working with smaller clients is great too, but it's always an amazing feeling to see an ad you've done in a national magazine or a billboard on the highway.
Any advice for someone pondering whether to take the leap into graphic design and sign up for the course?
If you are any sort of creative, do it and you'll love it.