School leaves you in a great position new hopes, possiblities, a fresh start...after a summer of relaxing before you jump into the work force. Prepared for your new career and future?....not always so. Yes education is parmount however by today's standards the technology is changing faster than some of us can keep up with it.
The one thing that never changes in this industry is work experience, professionalism and your portfolio. You need at least 2 of these to make any headway. If school didn't provide you with a well rounded portfolio (very often not) then you have to see where the gaps are and fill them in. To be employable you have to be prepared to go out for that luggage design job just as easily as a design studio job. The compettion is fierce. Sure work experience whatever the endeavor is experience and ads to your bank of skills...however there's no need to include all your previous work experience. For an example if your applying for a design position it is not necessary to list your experience working in an abottoir, not unless you designed thier bouchering posters. That's a common mistake that I see on a regular basis with many students just getting into the work force. They have no clue of how to proceed-where to start thier efforts, how to write a cover letter/thank you letter, telephone follow up on a job lead, look for perspective employers, conduct a portfolio vewing, how to market themselves in general; ironicaly they learnt how to market others...is it not apparent where the lines seem blured?
An explanation for this may be when commercial arts split into 3 categories some important business skills were left out. A commercial artists was expected to be a business savvy individual, an Illustrator, Graphic Designer and a Marketing specialist all wraped into one. Once you start working you realize that there's somethings they just didn't teach you in school and unfortunately it ends up wasting you alot of time with trial and error....in the end it's all up to you. I figure in this day and age they would at least prepare you for the competition, how to stand out and follow up. When I was in school it was understandable that there would be gaps in my education for the Graphic Design field was so new - now there shouldn't be an excuse.
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