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The college gates are about to open, unleashing hordes of fresh design talents on to the scene. What is your advice to the next generation of designers as they embark on their careers?

‘The opportunities for design graduates have never been more abundant or diverse as they are currently. Even with the dotcom bubble deflating, any designer with basic skills and a keen interest in the digital field will find him/ herself overwhelmed with varied, exciting career opportunities available in fun and contemporary environments.’

Gary Lockton, Chief Executive, DEEPEND London

‘Never forget your design training has given you skills for life without parallel. And those skills – creativity, innovation, communication to name but three – are infinitely transferable into virtually any field of work you might care to pursue. Make your horizons wide and your ambitions deep.’

Moira Fraser Steele, Director – Education, Design Council

‘Everyone respects a professional and dedicated approach. Have the courage of your convictions and push the boundaries of the brief. However, temper it with the ability to listen, absorb and play back what has been said in your work. Be highly critical of yourselves in your work. If you aren’t, you can bet the client will be.’

Roger Proctor, Managing Director, Proctor & Stevenson

‘Graduates must have work experience and strong commercial understanding displayed in clear examples of their best work. Most employers will not consider a designer whose CV does not reflect this. Good presentation, ability to communicate their ideas and an established network give a would-be employee additional advantage.’

Desiree Collier, Head of Creative, Capital Interactive

‘Treat every work or social situation that presents itself (however irrelevant it may at first seem to a career path) as a great opportunity, don’t just wait for the all-singing-all-dancing-golden-dream job, they are rarely around in the assumed form. Some of the greatest new work I’ve seen has been commissioned by clients who have seen an obscure first job from brilliant graduates, and from any piece of work anything can follow. A friend’s website, a neighbour’s small business identity, a tutor’s contacts – it’s out there, but it may not look thrilling at first sight.’

Jon Turner, Head of Global Design, The Body Shop

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