Loughborough Student Life

Breaking the creative careers stereotype

Panicked about a career in the creative industry? Heard that stereotype of “It’s hard to make it as a creative”? Read my tips below on how it is possible!

As a first year, I would deem myself as getting ahead of the game here! I feel this is very important no matter what career path you’re going along. If you take any opportunity that is in front of you, it’ll benefit you in the long run.

So, what’s my goal? Well, I aspire to pursue a career as a Graphic Designer, specifically what area within this spectrum yet I am unsure. Below I will discuss my main tips on how to get ahead of the game, through sharing how I personally am:

Get Experience

Whether this experience be paid or voluntary, anything that you can add to your CV to make you stand out is essential. Recently, I have been volunteering to help with the marketing of a local Mexican restaurant in town called Cactus Café (a very nice place to eat may I add), alongside 3 other students.

I did a photoshoot there, which will now allow me and my team to give their social media a makeover in a hope to entice more student clientele. I thoroughly enjoyed my evening at Cactus, despite it being a bit stressful due to being the only photographer, I feel the results were successful.

I am learning loads throughout this experience, such as broadening my skills through my fellow team members informing me with business knowledge, whilst also gaining that vital experience for my CV.

Networking

It is important to network early and make connections even in other fields, as you never know when you may need them in the future. Sometimes it’s all about who you know.

It is important to use any links you have, even if it’s a friend of a friend to help you gain experience or utilise their knowledge prior to your career.

Here at Loughborough the Careers Network are fantastic, they’re always happy to help and give advice on anything that you may need. Ways to network here at Loughborough are through the Careers fairs that happen throughout the year where you can talk to prospective employers, but also specific weeks linked to your certain field.

I attended several talks during Creative Careers week, including a Digital Design talk with Seed Creative Director, Jon Prest.

Build up your skill set

During the talk, Jon Prest argued that, “skills come first, closely followed by attitude”. This means that you need to build up a strong skill set to make you stand out from other people in your field. As technology advances, employers look for technical skills (for my career path this involves being a whiz with the Adobe Suit).

Below is a screenshot of a recent animation I’ve been working on using Adobe After Effects (for those budding graphic designers Lynda.com is a great resource for tutorials to develop your skills). Lynda.com is a resource that is free for all Loughborough students with full, unlimited access.

Be yourself

It is important to pursue other interests as well to display transferable skills and to reveal parts of your personality to employers. Believe it or not, they are interested in the type of person you are too!

I am a member of Stage Society and also do Tap for AU Dance. These hobbies display my passion, dedication and ability to work in a team, which are all skills employers look for. At interviews you will be reviewed as an individual, so always look to be a happy, positive and hard-working person that can display that little bit of personality and flair within everything that they do!  

Final word of advice as said during the talk at Creative Careers week by Jon Prest, “Get good”.

A short and sweet statement to end this blog with, as at the end of the day it is a competitive industry, so you have to be the best and have that flair. Don’t worry this takes time (I don’t have my distinct style yet but I know it’ll come with time).

Keep grasping every opportunity and with time you will, “Get good”.

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Hello, my name is Emma and I am a first year Graphic Communication and Illustration student. I hope you enjoy following my journey at Loughborough University, as well as hearing about my personal and daily goings throughout student life. I am a Black Belt in the martial art Taekwondo, part of the Novice Tap team and love all things creative.