1 month in the industry – a graduate’s perspective of starting their career

We were lucky enough to recently recruit one of the star graduates from the Visual Communication degree at Birmingham City University.

A design graduates experience

Emma not only attained a first class degree, but was also given the responsibility of student representative, as well as helping to organise the end of year show. Last year she joined us as an intern for a couple of weeks, so she was ‘first choice’ when we were looking to recruit a new designer to join the team.

Emma has joined us as a junior graphic designer, who we will be training and mentoring as she begins to build her career in the graphic design industry. She’s been kind enough to share her thoughts and experiences after one month with us.

What has been the biggest difference between working on university projects and client based work at Tanc?

Time scales! We had weeks to conceptualise, refine and complete university projects. I’ve discovered that the completion time on real projects is much shorter! This isn’t a bad thing, and with the strong art direction I’m getting from Matt and Jonny it’s forcing me to work smarter and faster.

How have you found the deadlines so far and overall pressure?

Not too bad thanks! I can see the rest of the guys working away and producing amazing work quickly, so I think I’ve been given a fairly easy ride on this so far. I can see my speed improving already though after only a month and am looking forward to getting involved in more complex, creative projects.

Do you feel you have learnt much in your first month with us?

I’ve learned loads already! Jonny has shown me some really clever ways of working in Photoshop and InDesign which is really helping me work smarter. It’s important that we keep all our files as editable as possible so we can react to client amends and I’m learning new things every day to help me.

What’s the most important thing you have learned so far?

Attention to detail on jobs and filing. Compared to working for myself, I didn’t realise the amount of checks a file would go through before being completed. Also, the way versions and proofs are filed is very important to make sure we keep track of amendments and latest files.

Finally – any advice for budding designers wanting to enter the industry?

You never stop learning – so be open to new ideas! I’ve worked hard to build a portfolio of work after 5 years of design education, but my first month at Tanc has shown me I still have a-lot to learn. It’s tough to get into the industry, but you have to keep going if this is what you want to do for the rest of your life. If I’ve leaned this much after 1 month, imagine what I’ll have leaned in 12 months – I’m very excited!