I’ve always known that I was going to join the creative industries in some shape or form, as being creative gives me a sense of fulfilment that nothing else does. I’ve never felt scared or indecisive about this career path, it’s always felt so correct for me.
I briefly attended another university studying a different course, but quickly realised that it wasn’t working for me. I dropped out and applied to study at Sunderland the following year, and it’s the best decision I could have possibly made. After attending my interview, I was sold on the Graphic Design course. It had such a warm and inviting atmosphere. I could tell that I’d be looked after and get the one-on-one support I needed to realise my potential.
There were so many aspects of the course that I loved! I didn’t really have a clear idea of what graphic design was before starting, but I quickly learned at Sunderland.
The tutors are next level. They truly care and have so much passion for their craft. They saw something in me that I didn’t really start believing until the end of my studies. They nurtured my skills and helped grow my self-confidence, and for that I’ll never be able to thank them enough.
The course itself was amazing. Even though I was stressed at times, I look back now and think about how much fun it was! We were taught how to use industry-standard programs as well as physical techniques, and we were always given the freedom to explore and experiment. I made lots of great memories and great friends during my time on the course.
My advice for people looking to study at Sunderland is to go for it, you’ll be in great hands and won’t be disappointed. Take advantage of all the amazing facilities and even better staff. Don’t be afraid to mess up, because you’re there to learn and the tutors are always on hand to guide you and offer support.
Almost immediately after graduating I joined a Newcastle-based design agency as a junior and have been there ever since. I’m working with super talented people on a variety of exciting briefs daily. I can see my skills improving, and I want to continue to improve as my career progresses. The design programs we were taught on the course were super helpful in my transition from university to industry work. But I’d say the most important thing I learnt on the course that has helped me in my current job is learning how to ask for to help and how to take criticism.
Never be afraid to ask the tutors for feedback or advice, it’ll only help improve you as a designer. And once you start as a junior in an agency, you’re going to be asking for a lot of help, advice, and feedback on most of your work. Shy bairns get nowt after all, and as a shy bairn myself I had to really push myself out of that and realise that it’s never personal, it’s about the work. Detaching yourself from your work and taking criticism as an opportunity to improve the work is very important. No one wants to hurt your feelings; they just want to help you improve as a designer.
Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t choose anywhere other than Sunderland, I can’t imagine a better design course.”
Published 4 March 2022