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Case Study

Afsina Begum

Sunderland, UK

BA (Hons) Graphic Design


Studying at the University of Sunderland was an easy choice for Afsina Begum; not only was Sunderland her home city, so the University was near and familiar, she knew it was the place for her after attending an Open Day and instantly loving the facilities. Having graduated in 2021, Afsina now works at the University as a Student Recruitment Assistant, alongside running her own design business, where she supports businesses with their branding and promotional needs.

I started doing Graphic Design at GCSE and fell in love with it. I knew I wanted to further my knowledge in this field and wanted to pursue a career in it.

When I was ready to start university, I attended a few Open Days around the North East. The University of Sunderland was the simplest and easiest choice for me; Sunderland is my home city, so the University was near, familiar and I already knew what the city was like, which made me feel comfortable and safe. At the Open Day, I was able to take part in taster sessions, go on a tour and meet my lecturers. I instantly loved all the facilities and how supportive the lecturers were.

My favourite part of the course was how much access I had to equipment. I loved using every machine I could get my hands on, especially making my own book and physically binding it together. I used screen printing machines, Lino cutting, DSLRs, all of which supported me to create my own merchandise and more. I also loved the fact that competitions were integrated within some of the modules, and we were encouraged to submit our work for them. Competitions are an effective way to get into the design world and understand how your work can get recognised.

Since graduating in 2021, I have been expanding my portfolio and getting further experience to present to larger design companies. My future career aims are to have my own design company, to expand my own portfolio and present my own exhibition in the North East. I am currently working at the University as a Student Recruitment Assistant while running my own design business, where I support various businesses with their branding and promotional needs. I support design events and get involved in panels which I love doing. Through studying modules where presentation and portfolio skills are taught, I have increased my abilities and knowledge in the industry. I understand how to present my work, as well as explain it in greater detail with confidence. This is key for your clients as they put their trust in you to showcase their business in an innovative way.

The advice I’d give prospective students looking to study at the University of Sunderland is to communicate with module leaders to understand the kind of modules you’ll be taught. Attend an Open Day and get a tour of the University’s facilities – this is so beneficial before you start.

The University of Sunderland was a fantastic place to study, primarily because of the access to high-quality support from both academic and support staff and opportunities to visit businesses, enabling me to reflect upon environments I could work in after graduation. The brilliant lecturers who taught on my course didn’t just stop at providing excellent support within the classroom, but continued this support through aiding me with portfolio reviews, enhancing my presentation skills and increasing my understanding and appreciation of an employability-focused skillset.”

Published 13 May 2022

Afsina's work has been highly commended in the Creative Conscience Awards.

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