Graduates must take responsibility for careers

The annual round of “graduates find it hard to get a job” letters are with us again (DW 6 August).

Richard Powley says industry needs to embrace new talent. Many people in the industry would agree, and make efforts to do so. Peter Flynn’s assertion that the industry has contempt for graduates is rather simplistic.

As a designer and organiser of our well established student development programme, I am committed to creating links with education and nurturing talent.

Our (paid) placement scheme continues to be a very rewarding two-way street and has yielded several of our full-time designers. Many others have gained invaluable experience and skills and we enjoy having them around.

There are, however, some issues that come up repeatedly, and l’d like to offer a few pointers to both students and graduates.

It is a buyer’s market and competition is fierce. Find out about the industry. Get to know who’s doing what and focus your approach. Simply writing a letter (often badly, and with spelling mistakes) may not be enough. If you can’t communicate your own message effectively, who will employ you to communicate that of the client?

Talent and ideas are more important than skills. We don’t expect graduates to know the ins and outs of a discipline, but we do expect them to be inspired, motivated and interested, and to make an effort to get on with everyone.

The message is a tough one. Take responsibility for yourself. While the education system may not be perfect, get over it and start acquiring whatever it has failed to give you. Nobody in industry has an obligation to sort your life out, but some of us recognise that you have much to offer.

Richard Webb

Brown Inc

Hampton Wick

Surrey KT1 4EP

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