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School’s out for this year’s crop of design graduates, many of whom are showing off their talents at the New Designers and British Design & Art Direction student shows, both in London.

School’s out for this year’s crop of design graduates, many of whom are showing off their talents at the New Designers and British Design & Art Direction student shows, both in London. What advice would you offer these young hopefuls as they start their careers?

‘Remember that a design education gives you a breadth and diversity of vision which is invaluable, in whatever job or whatever sector you pursue your career. Good designers are creative visionaries, lateral thinkers and problem solvers – and people with these skills are gold dust in any business anywhere in the world.’

Moira Fraser-Steele, Director – Education, Design Council

‘Having a portfolio of ideas which are well executed goes without saying. Graduates need to stand out from the crowd, which takes personality and an enthusiastic attitude. Be eager to learn and take something positive from every interview. Don’t get despondent, persevere, because there has never been a healthier time to be a design graduate.’

Paula Carrahar, Director, Major Players

‘Get started straight away. It’s really tough out there. Keep plugging away and don’t decide to go off travelling for 12 months because you’ll get left behind! Do lots of research on the companies you approach. Don’t write to a packaging company if you want to be a print designer. Try and get that CV to stand out from the crowd. Check all your grammar and spelling and follow all letters up with a phone call. Don’t underestimate the importance of presentation. It should be as sharp as you can possibly make it. Don’t take the first job you are offered (despite what your mum might say) unless you feel 200 per cent about it. It’s too easy to get pigeon-holed and end up down the wrong road! Don’t give up!’

Jackie Vicary, Director, Gabriele Skelton

‘Today’s students are entering a radically changing world, and need to be able to embrace change and seize the moment. In such volatile times my advice to the young stars of tomorrow would be to never stop learning. College may be over, but your career is just starting. Be driven by your passions for design rather than the trappings of success and be grateful for having the chance to make a difference. If you are fantastic at your job the “trappings” will come later.’

Jonathan Sands, Chairman, Elmwood

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