For most of my life, I always knew that I wanted to go to art school. Despite finding it difficult to choose what I wanted to do, my end goal was always to study something in the art and design sector. By the time it came to my last year at school, I had visited several degree shows and from there I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in graphic design. After being accepted into the General Foundation course at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD), I then went on to specialise in graphic design for 3 years and graduated with a Bachelor of Design (Hons).
I loved my time studying in Dundee, but I had never really thought about what would happen after I graduated until about half way through my 4th year at art school. Due to the demands of the degree show, the thought of future career prospects was very distant, but it wasn’t long before I had to start thinking about it. The build up to and on the opening night was incredibly overwhelming, but it was also an extremely positive and enlightening experience to be able to show all of our hard work and dedication over the previous years. It almost felt like an anti-climax because we were at a loss of what to do now. We were all so used to constantly working so hard for years (with very little of a social life) and now were left thinking what else is there to do? The only thing we could do now was prepare our portfolios for potential employers and start contacting agencies.
Job hunting is more often than not a very stressful task. The design industry has been struggling for many years, this along with tight competition can make it quite limiting of where you can actually apply to. Even getting work experience can be a difficulty, due to often being unpaid and in another city. However, despite gaining a bit more experience through undertaking a couple of weeks with design agencies, there is still no guarantee of a full time, paid job at the end of this process.
Starting a new job can be a very challenging thing for anyone. Even if you have years of experience in the industry, it is very unlikely that you’ll find an office that operates with the same structure as your previous job. Trying to settle into a new place, with new people, and adjusting to their way of working can be overwhelming, even more so for a graduate – when what you’re used to is managing yourself, working on unrealistic briefs and ridiculous timelines. This is then a challenge in industry when you have a quick turnover of work and clients to please. We have so much to learn about ourselves, our clients and how we all work as a team in the office, which is why we always say, ‘everyday is a school day’. We’re always learning new ways of working and how use our skills collectively to be the best that we can be for our clients.
Unknown to me, some of the Fraktul team attended the 2017 DJCAD degree show and took an interest in my work. Shortly after this, I was contacted by Stephen enquiring if I would be interested in applying for their new graduate graphic designer position. A couple of days later I had a phone interview with Sean, who provided me with a logo design brief to answer and present at my interview the following week. My concepts were received well, and I went on to talk about my degree show work and a couple of other strong projects of mine. By the end of that week I had been offered the position and starting working in July. Almost immediately I got on really well with everyone and was presenting work to clients within a few weeks. Since working here I have been able to build up a relationship with clients, learn to work closely as a team, how to contact suppliers, and most importantly build on my design skills. I am very grateful to be gaining new experiences everyday, which includes my animation skills improving through creating promotional videos for clients.