I think as a kid I haven’t had a clear path to creativity. I went to a drawing hobby class since I was 5 years old. I believe every Asian mother would do so to keep the kids busy. But I was pretty good at it. I remember getting all the ‘A+’ grades in the drawing papers. Growing up, I was unsure of what I wanted to do. Unlike any other Indian family, my parents wanted me to become a doctor/ an engineer or even an accountant (stable career choices you know!). The journey from a commerce junior college to finishing my masters in Graphic Design at Savannah College of Art and Design has been a real struggle. But I appreciate all the challenges I have had to face along the way. I am the very first kid in my entire extended family to choose design as a career, and today, my parents are very proud of me.
I did actually. But you know what? Nothing has gone as planned after the graduation. Being an international student has it’s own struggles. It’s not just getting the degree and finding the job. There is a lot of paperwork, a lot of waiting and a lot of patience. It has been a painful process. It always gets worse before it gets better. I needed the crisis, to push me to be better. Everything that has happened in the past has led me to something else. So, I am learning to be patient with myself and I am currently interviewing for all the best job opportunities I can find……… until I find the place, which is best for my design growth. Do not settle until you are satisfied, is my mantra.
Yes. Yes. And yes. You need an internship. You need that experience, you need that confidence and you need that mentor to point out what your qualities are, what your weak points are, and what your design strengths are. These are the things that can be very difficult to figure out by yourself. Every single day interning first at Dazzle Studio and later at Apple was an inspirational opportunity for me. The fact that you are surrounded by the design catalysts from all around the world itself, inspired me every single day to be the best version of myself. So, do as many internships as you can, because it is the only way, which will lead you to meet people from the industry who interests you and will motivate you to work harder. Expand your world and make new friends in the design industry. It is the first step outside your comfort zone, but believe me, it’s worth it.
“All you have to do is ask”, is the best piece of advice I have received so far. It’s a long legacy that has been forwarded to me by my mentor, which was passed by his mentor. This has helped me to be fierce, growing up in this industry. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to ask for help for feedback. Nobody is going to call you and offer you help by themselves. When you do ask, you might end up getting more.
It is okay to not know what’s next. Things will not fall in the right place as soon as you graduate. Know that it’ll take time. But don’t give up and take any job that never interests you. I have done that in the past as I finished my undergrad, rushed into my first job and learned much from each opportunity. Stay calm and find the right place for you, where you could learn, grow, blossom and mature as a good person and designer.