Featured Graduates

Shayna Naran

December 2013

 Shayna is a firm believer of getting out there and making stuff happen. Now working as a junior she is passionate and has a strong drive to continue to grow and learn as a designer. Even though it isn't always glamorous — she's a hardworker and is constantly pushing herself and her design.

What was your original plan before you graduated for getting a job and how does that compare to what really happened?

There wasn’t really much of a plan as I finished my study...Plan B was to go to uni and keep studying design if I didn’t get a job within a few months (which was appealing as part of me felt that just two years studying wasn’t enough) but it turns out it is, and I’ve been working full time since a couple months after graduating...

Do you have any tips for soon to be graduates or the best advice you received.

Spend more time developing your personal style and less time copying things from Pinterest. Styles come and go so quickly so don’t dig yourself into a trendy niche pit of no return. Be honest. Admit if you’re unsure of anything. Stupid questions are easier to deal with then stupid mistakes. Don’t limit yourself by thinking you don’t have enough skills to apply for a particular job – because you probably don’t. A few months in a studio will teach you more than years in a classroom, and the bright side of being a junior is that you’re not expected to know everything straight away. Even the cool kids who’ve been at it for years are still constantly learning. Networking will only get you so far, after that you need actual skills to live up to. Don’t design your resume in Word. 
Use a grid.

Describe be your typical day and what students can expect from working in industry.

I work in a small studio (a team of three at the moment) so the work I do as a junior is quite varied and can range from branding, wedding stationery, signage and web design to deep etching tractors and creating customised templates in Word (harder then you’d think, but pretty much the worst job ever...)
Studio life isn’t all letterpress and foil printing like it’s made out to be when you’re studying. Deadlines are shorter, budgets actually exist and often you have to compromise good design to please your client and get approval on a job. While the work isn’t always creatively stimulating, it can definitely be a challenge, and it still takes a different kind of creativity to come up with solutions.

How did you get your first job?

After I graduated I wrote a list of all the studios in Brisbane that I wanted to work at. I designed personalised cover letters for them and traversed the city introducing myself to companies and basically asking for work. As terrifying as it was, I received a pretty good response from most people, and although many didn’t have the work to give me, it was still a good way to meet a few good eggs in the industry. I landed myself some freelance work in a web studio (ironic seeing I didn’t know a thing about web) and some unpaid work experience once a week, which both lasted a few months until one of the studios I had previously visited called me up and offered me a full time position as a junior, and that’s where I’ve been ever since.

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