When you’re just starting out in your career, landing that first role can really seem like a struggle. You can have all the right tools, a degree, and a cracking Pinterest inspo board, but there’s bound to come a time when you might find yourself in a little bit of a pond of doubt with your own little rain cloud. The one thing to remember is – everyone’s been there. Keep your head up and keep at it, you’re doing better than you think!
That’s why we’re talking to Junior Designers who’ve got great work, super tips, and handy advice that might just give you a bit of reassurance that you’re doing things right. Today we talk shop with Melbourne-based Graphic Designer, Denny Louis.
What led you to pursue a career in design?
I’d say my interest in design came from when I first started making skateboarding videos with my friends when I was around 14 – 15 years old. Whenever we’d go skating, we’d always bring a camera and would film one another. Then at the end of the day, I’d edit it all together and upload it to YouTube, MySpace or Facebook. I really got into editing the videos and experimenting with things (like motion graphics) in After Effects and then my interest in video, photography, and graphics eventually worked its way into my schoolwork. There weren’t really any jobs outside of design that interested me, so when I had to choose what to do after school, I chose to study Graphic Design.
Before you graduated, what was your plan for landing your first job?
I didn’t really have a plan for how I was going to get a job and to be honest, I was trying to avoid it. So I enrolled for another year to do honors (as a way to avoid looking for full-time work) and decided to look for a part-time internship at a studio. Before I had the chance to get my folio together, I got an email from Three60 asking whether I was looking for work, which I was, and I went in to show my work to them in person. Turns out they found me through my profile on The Loop.
I went to my first day of uni, and later that day I got a call from Three60 where they offered a year-long full-time paid internship. I never went back to uni. I got very lucky.
So tell us about your take on internships?
Internships can be a really good way to get experience and my internship gave me a proper understanding of what it’s like to work as a designer. I never really felt like an intern, I felt like I was just part of the team and it all worked out well for me by getting offered an ongoing job. I know that not all internships are so positive and that a lot of the time people starting out can be taken advantage of which really sucks.
Unfortunately, some businesses seem to have no problem exploiting someone’s eagerness to work. I don’t think it’s fair that students and recent graduates will most likely have to work for nothing for the first part of their career, but until the people in charge change their approach to hiring someone with less experience, I don’t know that there are that many other options for getting started.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
There isn’t too much of a typical routine, it all depends on what we are working on at the time and what stage of the project we are at.
Do you have a creative outlet? How do you find time for it?
What’s one piece of career advice for those looking to score their first full-time role?
I think getting your first job takes a lot of patience and persistence. It took a quite a while for a lot of people I know to get a full-time job after graduating. Getting a job often comes down to whether you are the right match for the company, so I think it’s important to seek out places that you really believe in.