Design graduate’s survival guide

I’ve just recently enrolled to my university and I am officially a legit fourth year advertising student. Strange how time has passed by and now I am on to my last and final year in college. I feel very excited to know how life would be like if you are already working. I wanna leave all the negative thoughts aside like “You’re going to work on overtime”, or “You’re gonna pay taxes soon” or “Your pay is not enough!” I really don’t want to get into that right now. I’m more of the experience-life-to-the-fullest kind of gal.

Last night as I was browsing the web, I’ve come across computer arts blog about “Design Graduate’s Survival Guide” This blog post talks about the tips and tricks in surviving the creative world for recent graduates. I know I’m getting waaaayyyy ahead of things already, but I’m just too curious to know what is more “out there” than just being hindered at the four corners of school. The world seems so big and wide that there’s a lot of room to explore! :)

Sooo… here are the tips that they provided (with some insights from me) for recent and fresh graduates:

1. Welcome to the real world
Understanding the industry

This is very true. I mean, when I was looking through what internship I would be entering, way back in October 2011, I didn’t know which industry to take. I mean, whether it should be an ad industry, or something about photography, or production. My course offers a lot of opportunities for us to go into that understanding which one suits you best, and I took up ad industry because I wanted to explore the ad world. And I hope I did play it right because I’ll be doing an ad campaign for my thesis paper.

2. Getting a foot in the door
Placements and internships

Haha! I did this one already. After immersing myself for probably a month and a half in the ad industry, I loved it! Everyday, going to the office is an exciting experience, you will never know what is going through the door (well not literally!). The office is full of people who are on the same tempo and vibes as you are. People who are creative and weird, but because you have the same quality, you feel right at home.

3. Making the right impression
Job applications and interviews

I don’t know if I had aced this one with the HR department, but I hope I did well! She did accept me after all for my internship. Probably for this one, I did search on Google, “The most commonly used questions for a job interview” and practice your answers ahead of time. It gives you less time to think for an interview, but probably don’t answer ahead. It may look fake! Look for things that will make the company interested in you or try to acquire the skills that they are looking for. Having the right CV is also important.

4. Make international connections
Networking without borders

Now I don’t know about this one, but probably, the thing that I learned most about having  “international connections” is important for a business. The thing is you could collaborate with your connection by seeing how they work in the same field as you do, but in a different environment. Recently, we had a guest in Leo Burnett, his name was Eric San Santos (?) and he is a Creative Director at Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur. He gave a talk about how they do things in Malaysia, how he got to where he is now. And seeing his ads and demoreel was too awesome to describe. Probably exposing yourself is a good way to know what’s really “in” or what i mean to say is if you expose yourself to the world, you are going to tell the future.

5. Going global
Working abroad can pay off

One of the things to do in my list. After. I. Finish. College.

6. Succeeding at work
Becoming irreplaceable – make every day at your new job count

I think this applies to every workman who loves doing their job. I salute you guys for doing that!

7. Think ahead
Career planning

LOL. Am I not doing it now? I have the plan in my mind already. I just hope I am on the right course.

8. Be yourself
Finding your own style

This has yet to be developed. I’m really trying to learn my own style. Fashion style, that I am already done

9. Gain new skills
Lifelong learning

“Design education isn’t always crucial for gaining employment within the industry; in fact a Labour Force Survey a few years ago suggested that only 41 per cent of designers hold a degree or equivalent qualification. So, how are the others getting the skills they need? Lifelong learning must play a part – open your mind to the fact that each and every project should deliver a range of new skills. Fine-tune your production skills, learn how to deliver great presentations – whatever you’re involved in, make sure you excel.” —— I have to do this.

10. The perfect portfolio

Its on that process of being awesome.

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