Celebrating the success of UWTSD Creative Advertising graduates


15.06.2020

UWTSD’s Creative Advertising Course has always celebrated a high rate of graduate employment, with many former students securing jobs in the creative industries. Past graduates have succeeded in a variety of roles including advertising creators, copywriters, social media content creators, event managers and public relations executives. Employability, enterprise and entrepreneurial thinking are all embedded in the teaching and these have proved highly valuable skills amongst potential employers.

Ethan Rawlins is currently working at branding agency Construct London - a full-service agency mostly working in the luxury sector. Prior to this, he worked at GEH on packaging design & art-working.

Martin Bush, UWTSD's Creative Advertising Programme Director said two core skills were central to the delivery of the course – creativity and communication.

He said: “To be relevant in the ever-evolving media industry it’s essential we teach our students how to think, not what to think. This transferrable skill ensures they become independent practitioners with the versatility required for all types of problem solving. This makes them extremely employable in whatever career path they choose.

“The diversity of their job roles illustrates not just how the professional landscape has changed, but also highlights the commercial relevance of our course. Our students acquire contemporary relevance by embracing the new and emerging technology that is shaping the creative workplace of the future alongside traditional craft skills. As lifelong learners with a thirst for knowledge, it is their own personal enthusiasm and passion that have made them successful in the creative industries.

"Our Creative Advertising course is industry focused, our principal aim is for our students to leave university and get the jobs they will love doing. We are extremely proud of the achievements of our alumni, they never cease to amaze us, and long may this continue.”

We caught up with some recent graduates to find out what they are doing and how they feel UWTSD prepared them for their new careers.

Dom Wint

Dom is working as a UX Architect for ecommerce company My 1st Years in Camden, North London.

“When I had my first interview, my interviewer said the degree helped me to stand out amongst the other candidates. It also allowed me to create a portfolio full of diverse creative projects. I also think learning how to pitch an idea was one skill that gave me a head start when looking for a job. After all, you're pitching yourself in any job interview. My favourite part of the degree was the freedom of the final year, where the majority of the work was self-initiated briefs.

My message to current students is don't stop applying for jobs. Trawl the internet for job boards. Reach out to every person you know and see if any of them have a friend of a friend of a friend in the industry. Once you've got your foot in the door somewhere, it's a lot easier. 

In the future, I hope to one day head up a UX/Tech team. Or maybe even run my own business.”

Nathan Ellis

Nathan is currently a social media and marketing manager for a group of three companies: Innovative Security Solutions, Innovative Cleaning Services and Training4employment based in Digbeth Birmingham.

“Since graduated in 2016, I’ve worked in numerous different roles in the creative industry – in marketing, graphic design, print and fashion design. The Creative Advertising course helped me to be able to get my point across - it’s easier to walk into interviews and client meetings when you have detailed knowledge on your profession. UWTSD helped me to be industry ready and this is a very important skill. We covered a lot of different disciplines on the course and had great tutors that would always help me with my confidence.

"My tips to students are to be confident but do not try and pretend you’re something you’re not. Be patient, build networks and have a strong body of work that you can speak passionately about. Be yourself and let your skills and talent do the talking for you, you have a great chance of employment. I found employment straight out of university. My future goal is to open my own design and marketing agency in Birmingham.”

Ethan Rawlins

Ethan is currently working at branding agency Construct London - a full-service agency mostly working in the luxury sector. Prior to this, he worked at GEH on packaging design & art-working.

“I feel my degree really helped me to stand out from other creative candidates. Rather than going down the road of traditional graphic design, this degree provided a much deeper perspective of design and the industry of branding and advertising as a whole. Throughout the three years having the diversity of projects gave me a vast understanding of clients, mediums, and styles that I am now used to working with on a daily basis. The approach to projects such as research and getting a deeper understanding of the brief/task was a key one for me. I feel anyone can make a design or concept, but the hard part is how everything works cohesively and makes sense from the thesis and final visual point of view.

"I really enjoyed the variety of different projects that we were given - it really helped me become quite diverse with tasks, design disciplines and generally getting out of my comfort zone. The prime examples that stick in my mind were the second year fashion branding project which was one of my favourites as not only was it our first exhibition piece in the foyer but it also really made me think about design aesthetics and the thesis of my conceptual brand. Finally, the third-year final exhibition where I was part of the branding team was an incredible time working closely with my peers and also getting quite methodical with the branding side (more than I ever have before!).

"My advice to students is when approaching agencies, tailor-make your cover email & portfolio to each individual one, depending on the agency's style of work. It’s best to showcase similar styles first and then other mediums to follow. Another important thing to consider is to intern at one or two studios to get some vital agency experience, not only to show on your creative CV but also for yourself so that you understand the ins and outs of a potential fast-paced agency. Interning at DARE for just over a month really taught me about creative deadlines, communication, and even live client meetings!

"Also, try to do as much live freelancing as you can, not only will this help you with client communication but it also gives you the opportunity to teach yourself vital skills such as art-working which is a vital final step to any creative project so it’s best to learn the steps ASAP!

For now, my current goals are continuing to grow and progress as a designer! But long term I would love progress to Senior Designer/Design Director with the final goal of being Creative Director.”

Hannah Kendall is a Senior Designer, with specialised knowledge in User Experience Design, at Thirst Design - a full-service creative agency based in Odiham, Hampshire. She’s the Lead Creative for Video Production projects and leads many of the creative campaigns.

Hannah Kendall

Hannah is a Senior Designer, with specialised knowledge in User Experience Design, at Thirst Design - a full-service creative agency based in Odiham, Hampshire. She’s the Lead Creative for Video Production projects and leads many of the creative campaigns.

“My degree gave me a varied skill set, which is highly beneficial in my role today. From learning about advertising in all of its glory, it allowed me to work on every aspect of a project, whether that be planning, concept, copywriting, or video editing - I use all these skills daily. The essential skills that helped my employment after graduation was my video editing skills and conceptual thinking skills, alongside the graphic design skills required for most agency roles. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to study all aspects of advertising rather than just design. The lecturers were always helpful, encouraging, and passionate about the course, which made the whole experience much more enjoyable. 

"My tips for students are to never be afraid to show your work and demonstrate your ideas. Having the confidence to market yourself is important. Be active on Twitter and LinkedIn, this will enable you to follow and connect with professional bodies and keep up to date with networking events and workshops.

"You may feel defeated after a failed interview. Don’t be. With every unsuccessful interview, there is a lesson learnt, and you will do better in the next. I would suggest asking for feedback after an unsuccessful interview; that way, you can improve your interview tactics for the next one.

"Most importantly - keep asking questions. The more you ask, the more you will learn. It shows the drive to grow and invest in personal development. 

"My long-term future career goal is to become a Creative Director with a digital focus.” 

Kate Lloyd

Kate works for Gwent Police Cyber Crime Unit as the Cyber Protect and Prepare Officer. Her job includes delivering advice to small organisations, charities, and members of public and victims of cybercrime within the force area to raise awareness of cyber threats, ensuring they implement secure practices and know where to report. 

Although I don't work within the advertising industry, I feel my role is very much focused on delivering the cyber protect guidance in a visual, engaging and personal manner so that it's understandable and relatable, just like it would be pitching a concept to an audience. These are techniques I've learnt through my degree. UWTSD really helped me with my confidence. Although I'm not as confident as I'd like to be (but that will come), from the moment I started I did things that pushed me outside of my comfort zone. The presenting, the group work, creative thinking workshops, it all helps you to think differently and work towards your goals. 

"My favourite part of the degree was the live briefs, I found that creating an idea under timed pressure was an exciting way to prepare us for real life situations making decisions and pitching ideas with very short deadlines. I also really liked the flexibility with projects, each and every one of us had our own styles and personalities that we expressed through our projects, we had the brief but we could essentially go as far as we wanted with our own ideas and final presentations. 

"I would advise students to show your interest in internships well before you graduate, take part in summer projects, collaborate with other creative students to get the best out of your projects. 

"I never would have thought that I would be working within Cyber Security a few years ago, so it's all still very new to me and so exciting! I'd like to continue working within the sector helping others, achieving my accreditations, meeting so many amazing and inspiring people and hopefully get to a point where my stomach doesn't do somersaults when I present in front of hundreds of people!! Follow @GPCyberCrime for protection advice and the latest cyber threats.”

Ross Weaver

Ross currently works at 180 Kingsday, a global advertising agency based in Amsterdam, where he’s an Art Director in the Creative department.

“On reflection, I realise how valuable my degree was as a stepping stone into this industry. Just signing up for a degree in a field you like isn’t going to guarantee you a job at the end of it. But taking advantage of the opportunities that surround you whilst at university and realising how they can be beneficial to you makes it easier to see a path leading you to a job you love. One opportunity that changed my life was our final exhibition in London. I went with the intention of finding an internship in the UK and ended up bagging myself an internship in Amsterdam. Nearly four years later and I’m still at that agency.

"The most valuable things I learnt at UWTSD were independence and confidence.

"University was a very different way of studying to what I was used to. Being in a learning environment that was so in my control was exciting, I had the room to explore different aspects of the creative industry and was able to decide where to focus my energy.

"All that exploring and taking advantage of the opportunities around me only boosted my confidence and put me in great stead for when I graduated.

"There are a few things that stand out for me. Again, independence. I had three whole years to make mistakes, see what worked and what didn’t, see what I liked and what I didn’t. I still don’t have it all figured out but that's part of the fun.

"Making and creating. Being in the creative industry allows us to make tangible and exciting things. At university, we have the resources to do that. Collaborate with students on other courses, reach out to tutors or learn a new skill.

"Now I’m in a full-time job I realise how lucky we were to have weeks of time off between semesters. I tried to make the most of them, whether that was finding work experience, doing side projects or travelling. It was all experience that made me a better creative in the long run.

"I’d say to new students, it isn’t easy! But it’s worth it. I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the world, work with incredibly talented people and create cool work. Put the time in and it’ll pay off.

"When I was an intern I was told to be hungry and stay humble. You don’t know everything, and that’s ok. Nobody in this industry knows everything, it’s moving too fast for that to be possible.

"I feel as though I’m still pretty new to this world of advertising. There are so many people I want to work with, places I want to go and things I want to create. But the beauty of this industry is there are always more opportunities if you're willing to see them. I’ve met people that have started their own agency, or a business completely unrelated, written books and even quit everything to go and open a diving school on a remote island. I don’t know what’s behind the next door and I love that!”

To find out more about the Creative Advertising course at UWTSD, please visit:

https://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/ba-creative-advertising/

 

Ross Weaver currently works at 180 Kingsday, a global advertising agency based in Amsterdam, where he’s an Art Director in the Creative department.

Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Mobile: 07384 467071

Email: Rebecca.Davies@uwtsd.ac.uk