Help?!? A little confused!!!


New Member

I am needing a little bit of advice... I studied graphic design at university 3 years ago, I completed the course but didn't do very well, only managing a 3rd!!! I know honestly I didn't put anywhere near enough effort in, but in some aspects though the course was very competitive, with lots of talented people... which I guess would drive some people to try and compete harder... I however went completely the opposite way going from being top of the class (as I was in college) to muddling my way through the course and completely losing my confidence with doing any kind of art and design!! Up until a few months ago, I was scared to pick up a pencil to draw or even open Photoshop!!

I did try to get a design job straight from University, as most people seeking jobs recently I had lots of interviews, even getting through to the 2nd stage on some occasions!! however about a year and a half ago I decided to try something else and thats why I'm now in my current position of marketing assistant.... Its really made me realize that design and doing something creative is what I love and what I should be doing!!!

I'm currently taking an online course to build up my confidence and hopefully my portfolio... so far its working with my first grades coming back high!!

Right now to my question, well actually questions... I'm just really unsure what to do... I don't know whether to stick to solely doing the course then think about the job situation afterwards? whether I should also be creating some self initiated projects? I'm not even sure what my style is anymore, so should i be thinking about this trying to focus my work in a certain direction?!? I've also been thinking about freelancing, but even sure where to start on this or even if it's a good idea right now!!!

Any general advice would really help!! Especially from anyones who's been in a similar situation!! I've just got a lot of thoughts and ideas floating around in my head and I'm just really sure about anything!!!

The fact that you got a degree is the bit that matters and an employer will never judge you on the class. The only people I personally know that mention their degree classification are the ones who got a first.

The bit you will need to work on, is explaining why you gave up on it all for 3 years.
Do you mind me asking what online course you're doing? How long does it take and how does it compare to uni?
Cheers for your thoughts bigdave, a few people have said that the actual level doesn't matter so much and I should focus more on that I got a degree and the overall experience I had... just need to always keep that in mind really!!! I think your right about the 3 year gap in my design experience, I think I would have to put some of it down to the current job climate but also be honest about my dip in confidence with potential employers. I am hoping that the fact I have some similar experience from my marketing postion (as I curently do work on most of the promotional work at my office) may help!!

Munni, are you considering doing a course yourself? The course I'm currently doing is run by The Graphic Design School... I think they are based in Australia but as its all done online, students sign up from all over the world. They give you 12 months to complete 12 modules, so far I'm finding the course really helpful in building up my confidence... the course is really good in giving you a good knowledge base if you've had no experience in design before.

In terms of comparing them its quite hard because they are very different, University gives you a great all round experience, sharing ideas with students, varied lectures from tutors and sometimes guest speakers, the course I did was also very varied with focus on new digital technologies but also older techiques like letterpress and book binding!! Where as The Graphic Design School focuses alot more on standard theories to do with design and the digital programmes such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign. I guess it depends what you are intending to do with the course you select... If you need a refresher (like me) or you wish to gain an insight in design I say the online course is great but if you want to get more involved I'd say a college or uni course would be better!!! hope that helps!!!

I would think that the marketing you've been doing for the last few years would stand you in good stead with an employer. Small design agency or printer would I'm sure find that invaluable.
Some self initiated projects wouldn't hurt either - nobody cares about the grade you got in your degree, just that you got one. It's all about the work.

And don't worry about not having a style. On the whole, I think that having a 'style' is a bad thing. Your style should come from the requirements of the brief.