Case study

Web and graphic designer — Simon O'Donovan

Simon believes that to be successful in multimedia you need to keep up-to-date with new technologies and constantly refresh your skills

What degree did you study?

I studied commerce at University College Dublin and then a Masters in E-commerce.

How did you get your current job?

I had been working at a start-up doing mobile app development and I had taught myself the basics of Photoshop and Illustrator.

I heard about the role at Chill and wanted a change of environment so I started as a marketing executive and the role grew from there.

How relevant is your degree to your job?

I'd never thought of working in a multimedia role when I was growing up. I always enjoyed art and design but I don't think I'd ever thought I could make a career of it.

When I went to college I studied commerce, which gave me a grounding in lots of disciplines such as accountancy, marketing, human resources. It was great to get that because it helped me to figure out where my interests lie.

I then did a Masters in E-Commerce at University College Dublin.

What do you do day-to-day?

I'm responsible for the look and feel of any internal or external communications that we do, whether it's a flyer, an email campaign, display adverts and of course the company website.

During a normal day I might be using Photoshop to create images or tweaking the design of a campaign. We do a lot of display advertising and we constantly refresh these adverts.

We're also constantly refining and updating new things on the website to make sure that it looks as good as possible and it is performing well.

What do you enjoy most about the job?

The fact that it gives you an excuse to be creative. I work with quite a small team and although I'm the only designer, my colleagues aren't shy about sharing their opinions and that's great.

It's good to have that feedback on your work, if you're working on your own it can be quite isolating.

What are the challenges?

When you work in a multimedia role it's very important to keep up-to-date with all of the technological changes as things move so fast.

There are various industry blogs that I read to keep abreast of any changes in the software we use or new techniques. I also use Twitter and Pinterest to follow what other people in my industry are doing so I don't miss out.

Finally, it's really important to keep gaining new skills; you don't stop learning just because you've left university.

What advice would you give others who are interested in this career?

When you leave university you think you're making a huge decision about what you're going to do for the rest of your life, but it's really not that serious.

You keep learning and you keep modifying what you want as you go along, don't feel paralysed that there's a right or a wrong answer for what you do next.

Find out more