Daryl explores how graduates can start their career in the creative industry
You’ve recently graduated with that all important degree that you have been studying for the past 3 years for and now it’s time to make the step into the world of creative agencies and London’s Tech City.
If you are an aspiring Designer, we will explore here the three most important areas of focus for you to work your way into the industry.
Firstly, as a Junior Designer it’s all about your portfolio and what you have in it to separate you from the 100’s of other Graduates looking to stake a claim in London’s most reputable agencies and brands.
In an ideal world, you should have in mind which of the following routes you would like to enter:
- Purely Digital Design role – digital campaigns, web design, digital marketing material
- A UI Designer focused on web sites, apps or digital products
- A mix of digital and offline as an Integrated Designer
- A Graphic Designer role (print, press, OOH, flyers etc.)
- A Graphic Designer focused on branding (building a company’s profile and the way it’s perceived)
1. Internships & Opportunities
This may sound obvious but apply for as many design internships as you can and as early as possible! Search for these online with selected agencies in mind and really research the space as to who does what.
As a Digital Design Consultant that specialises in the agency space, I’m constantly looking to expand my knowledge and explore which agencies specialise in each respective field, whether it be advertising, branding, web builds, apps, or comms. I’d encourage Junior Designers to do the same to maximise the opportunities you can search and apply for and also to get a feel for what ones you like and align this with your own personal style. E-Consultancies top 100 agency report will be of particular help as well as Campaign Live’s Agency news feed.
In terms of choosing the right position it may seem obvious but you should apply to all the biggest names in the industry – an opportunity with one of these agencies is always likely to do wonders for your CV and you’ll get to learn from some of the best which is only going to be beneficial. What I would say is from a personal perspective you may not get the opportunity to work on projects which will enhance your portfolio in the same way as it does your CV. I’d encourage Junior Designers to seek out opportunities with smaller agencies and brands where you may get more of an opportunity to work on bigger projects that will test your creativity and design capabilities which would look great in your portfolio.
It is so important to connect with people within the industry. Networking could help you get your first big chance in the industry, especially by attending design & creative meetups. This will give you the chance to network, hear about new opportunities and make connections with influential people within the industry; you never know you might meet a Creative Director looking to expand their team!
As someone who is always keen to learn more about the Creative industry I often attend meetups like Glug and The Creative & UX Crunch – these events provide you with a laid back setting to meet with fellow creatives and people relevant to the industry. These events are sometimes located at well-known agencies and will give you the opportunity to network, so it is always best to bring some copies of your CV with you just in-case!
Check out https://www.meetup.com/ to source out events relevant to you.
3. Projects and Portfolios
I cannot stress the importance of a good portfolio and your own personal projects within it. Set yourself personal projects to really show off your skills, there is no reason why your portfolio should be bare just because you haven’t had professional or temporary work experience. I’ve worked with Juniors recently who have got interviews with a portfolio of purely self-initiated projects. If you want to be a Digital Designer really investigate websites you like and think about how you could put your own spin on a new redesign. Personal work gives you the opportunity to show off your creative flair and communicate your own style – this can often count for more than simple professional work you get early exposure to.
Overall, design internships are always fiercely competitive, especially amongst the best organisations in the industry. If you can nail these 3 areas and be persistent you’ll give yourself the best chance of landing your first opportunity in the industry. Here at Xcede we regularly help the biggest agencies and brands secure top junior talent so lookout for any Junior Designer roles we may have listed on our website and if you need any further advice or someone to review your portfolio feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best of luck with the search!
Daryl Blanche | Consultant
0203 301 9929 | email@example.com