I remember the last few weeks of university being a huge rush. I was in contact with a few studios in London leading up to our degree show, and I landed my first internship post-graduation, at a great interactive design agency called Kin – found through our university’s jobs board. Even though the internship was only for a month, I decided to move to London and find a base. In hindsight this proved to be really important; I got to know London as a city, attend talks and visit studios – all things that helped me grow my contacts.
Living and working in London has been expensive, but mostly inspirational. Surrounding myself with the work of studios and people I look up to has definitely made me enjoy design far more than I used to. I didn’t really have a sense of what I liked and didn’t like while studying, but I’ve definitely come to see what type of work I’m drawn to – and that’s mostly down to my colleagues and the environment I now live in. Everything connects somehow – everyone seems to know everyone which I find quite exciting.
At Winchester we were introduced to a lot of people over the course of three years. I managed to get to know, and maintain contact with, a handful of people at branding agency Moving Brands, before starting an internship there when I graduated. I really enjoyed the environment, but I knew I wanted to move on and explore somewhere new, like POST.
In at the deep end
You often hear that you’ll be lucky to get a paid internship and that you’ll do all the shit jobs. But from my experience, I was actually treated very well. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but by the sounds of it there’s been a really positive change in the way entry-level designers are treated. I was thrown into the deep end at Moving Brands but always felt that my opinion was respected, and that I wasn’t just expected to make the tea!
Something I didn’t realise before is that the ability to sell an idea can really set a great design studio apart. At Moving Brands, I spent three months on a corporate identity job. The pace of work was the biggest learning curve – not specifically producing quality work at twice the speed (that comes with practice) but more the quantity of work. I was used to spending ages on projects at university and getting it pixel perfect, but creative directors really want to see ideas, not pieces of art! I had to detach myself from the quality and expand the range of my ideas. Having said this, I think I’ll always try to perfect every bit of work I do.