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Shauna Hambley: Tips for beginning your Graphic Design career

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Employability days organised by the University and the opportunity to showcase her portfolio of work to industry experts in the Design Degree Show led Shauna Hambley to her dream career: working as a Graphic Designer with design specialists at Everything Different. Here she shares her best practice for getting the most out of your Design course and landing your dream job.

Shauna Hambley on computer

Shauna Hambley, BA (Hons) Graphic Design, Junior Designer at Everything Different

"Make the most of career and networking opportunities"

"I met my employers at my final Degree Show. I'm currently working at Everything Different between the design studio and art studio where I'm able to harness my skills and better myself as a designer," says Shauna. "The University organises employability days, where working designers from agencies big or small come into the University and chat to students and go through their portfolios. It’s essential for making connections and giving students a confidence boost."

We hold employability days for our Design students, in which we invite employers and ex-graduates to come into the University to give advice and to look over your portfolio of work. Gaining constructive feedback gives you the cutting edge and enables you to stand out from the crowd.

"The most important event for the Design Centre is the Design Degree Show, as it allows employers to view students' work and meet them in a casual environment. I got my job through meeting one of my colleagues at the final show, and I also got the opportunity to go to London for the Design and Art Directors Association (D&AD) Awards. Many universities go to the show, we were set up at Spitalfields Market, and I was able to get four job interviews from that experience. After leaving the course, I also worked with my tutor on her Ampersand exhibition which is going around the UK and New York,” explains Shauna.

The Design Degree Show


The Design Centre reflects the creative studio spaces found in the professional world of design and attracts international exhibitions and conferences with acclaimed guest speakers from every sphere of design, such as Jill Calder, Bruce McLean and Fig Taylor. You’ll have a wealth of opportunity to network with industry professionals and work alongside illustrators and designers with internships and live projects to showcase your work.

‘Hothouse Studio’ is a graphic design studio within the Design Centre that allows you to take on real-life projects for a variety of clients. You’ll get the opportunity to work with industry professionals, giving you real-life experience which you can apply to the working world when you graduate. You’ll also have the opportunity to participate in competitions hosted by leading industry body D&AD, of which the University of Sunderland is a member. The prestigious D&AD Award is well-regarded in the world of design and advertising and recognised globally as the ultimate creative accolade.

"Work hard and take your work seriously"

Shauna adds: “University is a vital time to build skills to better yourself and your work. To get the most out of the course, I would say network and take up any opportunities that the course offers, whether that is freelance work or competitions, and definitely take part in the employability day.

“I took part in the final show of 2015, and I was able to showcase my work. As it was my first time presenting my work to an audience, it was nice to be in an environment where the work was praised and acknowledged.

“If you work hard and if you’re dedicated you’ll get the best possible experience from the University. The tutors are hardworking and push you to better yourself and your work. I’d recommend the University because of the facilities that are available, and the tutors come with a wealth of knowledge that they want to pass on," Shauna continues.

Our digital design suites have Macs and PCs with Adobe Creative Suite Design Premium, including software such as InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and Photoshop, and our staff are Adobe and Maya Certified Instructors who will help you get the most out of the software.


Published: 11 September 2017