Case study

Graphic designer — Rebecca

Rebecca enjoys working in graphic design as she is able to follow an idea through from conception to completion

How did you get your job?

After finishing my degree in art and design, I focused on preparing and developing my portfolio ready to begin applying for design roles.

I applied for a six-month paid graphic design internship at MCA Leicester, where I was invited to an interview and offered the role. After six months I was offered a permanent job.

How relevant is your degree to your job?

The way the course was structured meant we didn't do much design for web, it was mainly offline work with print and conceptual work. So after starting at MCA Leicester, I was mentored by senior designers and brought up to speed on web design best practice.

What was helpful in my degree was the way we were taught concept work and how to develop ideas. Having lectures from recent graduates also prepared you for real project timescales and deadlines.

What are your main work activities?

A typical working day usually involves some updates to the e-commerce website, creating banners for new products or promotions.

I also work closely with the social media team, designing graphics for social media posts across Twitter and Facebook.

How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?

From starting as an intern, my role has developed to cover more independent work, which stretches across a wider selection of disciplines.

I'd like to become a senior designer within MCA Leicester and manage my own projects and team of designers.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I like the range of different disciplines I get to work with, from web and social media (for the website) through to print, stand design and point of purchase (for our physical store).

Seeing an idea through from conception to completion is really satisfying, as you get to see your work 'in the wild'.

I also find the analytics really interesting. It's vital to know what people engage with by monitoring click-through rates so I can make the necessary adjustments to our marketing campaigns.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?

I find it quite challenging to know when a design is done. It's very easy to fall into the trap of just moving things around the page. This isn't productive as you can end up doing it for hours. You need to have the ability to know when a design is worthy of being published live.

Also as design is subjective, you can't please everyone. It's therefore important to be able to handle critique positively and productively.

Any words of advice for someone who wants to get into this job?

You should really think about where you want to work. It's easier and more beneficial to focus on a select few companies you have a genuine interest in than to throw your CV and portfolio at everyone in sight.

It's also important to develop yourself and your skills, so take time out to recharge and inspire yourself.

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