Graphic Communication

May 2012

Where did you Study?

Bath Spa University

What did you Study?

BA Hons in Graphic Communication.

What year did you Graduate?

2012

So we can feel more intimate, three words to describe your physical appearance.

Chinese, Cute-tummy, Gorgeous (from my girlfriend, and I’m not even Chinese)

What did you do when you left Uni? Be brutally honest! If you cried into a bowl of cereal every morning & treated your local pub like your favourite Uni nightclub, say so.

It was all a bit weird on the day. It’s strange thinking about how it all boils down to this one day. Seeing all my work from final year in 4 boxes and a portfolio is a bit depressing. I spent and am still currently, enjoying a few weeks of freedom before sorting my life out. I think I deserve the break.

What are you doing now and how long do you see yourself doing it for? Are you in your dream job? If not yet, what is this?

I’m currently unemployed and a bit worried about finding full-time employment. Trawling jobs sites and sending my portfolio out will commence shortly. Personal opinion is that it is easier to find a job whilst you’re employed, so even if my first job isn’t what I expected or as fun as I thought, then I’ll just keep looking.

Do you think Uni has helped you to be where you are now?

In terms of Uni motivating me to do work then yes, but specifically the Uni, lectures, tutoring etc. then no. Coming from a non-design background into the creative industry, my first two years were great, studying on a Foundation Degree for the first two years really helped push me towards getting ready for employment.

My final year experience on a BA has been terrible. I felt very separate from the rest of the students on my course and the tutors and University did little to help or make me feel welcome. As a result, I did a lot of working at home with my housemates, who were all on the same course and felt the same way. Lack of interest from tutors was the most annoying thing. I had a good relationship with tutors in my second year and expected it to continue with my new tutors but it didn’t happen. I had a mentor who was more helpful.

In the end I never bothered seeing any tutors and got on with work instead of worrying all the time about ticking boxes, discussing it with my mentor. My portfolio now is great and is work that I’m proud of, which may not necessarily be the best for Uni but works in terms of a professional context.

If I was to recommend going to Uni or not for creatives, then I’d probably say you’re better off with placements and internships. Graphic Design is all about your portfolio instead of qualifications. £3000 has motivated me to do work this year, but it has paid for practically nothing in terms of teaching. Now I’m just looking forward to working full-time.

Any advice for graduates who aren’t yet in their dream jobs or still battling against this rubbish economy for just an interview?

For me it’s the whole cliché thing about do what you love doing. If you aren’t doing that then you should change. I was working in an Engineering firm before becoming a Graphic Designer and didn’t hesitate at making the switch, because I wasn’t enjoying my job. Don’t be afraid to take steps back to go forward. Life should be fun.

Finally, if you would be so kind, tell us briefly about your day ahead – just in case we might want to change our career path.

Well hopefully when I have a job it would involve lots of creativity, designing, hands-on stuff, staring at a computer screen mixed with lots of being outside to inspire.

Right now, it’s just a fair bit of cycling every day.

That’s it. Mat, you have been wonderful.

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