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How to prep for the creative industry while studying

a male student looking up to the sky

The creative industries have expanded since I was at Uni (ages ago now!) and educators can’t be expected to be able to teach you every tiny thing in three years!

So, I wanted to point out a few things you could be doing now that will set you in good stead after you graduate.

Young creatives trying to meet a deadline
Image credit: Lala Azizli - Unsplash

Time Management:

Make a timesheet of how long specific tasks take you to complete throughout a project lifecycle.

It doesn’t have to be flashy, just a simple Excel spreadsheet will do the trick. The idea is that you will naturally get faster at certain tasks as time goes by.

If you understand how long it takes you to create logo concepts, create a 3D visual, or photoshop an image, then this will really help you plan and manage your time in a studio environment or quote for freelance client projects in the future.

Remember: This tip will also help you to maintain a work/life balance by ensuring that you have enough time to hit your deadlines.

two computer screens showing code
Image credit: Fotis Fotopoulos - Unsplash

Identify industry-standard software:

Believe me, when I say – 3 years at Uni will zip by in a flash!⚡️

And while it’s a fantastic, fun, and multi-layered experience of self-growth, it also gives you the opportunity to experiment and discover what your favourite projects and processes are within your chosen fields.

Learning a new software package takes time and dedication so you need to know the investment is going to be worth it. Seek out industry blogs or ask potential employers and industry professionals what their staple software packages are for specific roles in the creative industry.

This will ensure you can make the most of the access you get to these packages while studying at Uni or benefiting from student discounts on online courses.

Remember: There are many types of software packages out there and you can’t be a master of all of them. Don’t put yourself under excess pressure. Focus on the main 1-3 and get to grips with them as best you can.

three asian students smiling at a laptop screen
Image credit: Priscilla Du Preez - Unsplash

Collaborate:

Being able to stand out when applying for jobs is one of the main things students and grads worry about. Hiring managers often see the same regurgitated D&AD briefs or slightly mediocre projects they can tell have just been added as ‘padding’ for the owners ‘best work’.

A great way to differentiate yourself from your peers and boost your portfolio is to collaborate with creatives from different sectors and specialties.

Being able to demonstrate that you can work as part of a team and across different media is a huge asset to any portfolio and a core soft-skill when working in the industry. Universities are hubs of creativity with a mix of disciplines often living under one roof.

🚀  So why not take the opportunity to up your game?

Remember: There should be a mutual benefit to collaborations, and everyone should be able to share the content of a project to set their portfolios apart from other applicants: Photographers + Models + Make-up artists Designers + Illustrators + Photographers Illustrators + Designers + Product Designers Designers + Web developers Fashion designers + Filmmakers …the list goes on!

Blog tile image credit: Matese Fields – Unsplash

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