With competition the number one issue facing design graduates, students must showcase their skill and talent through their portfolio to get a head start.
Self-trained and web-savvy designers are increasingly crowding the design space, making competition in the industry fierce, says Billy Blue College of Design.
'In such a visual industry you have to be seen to be heard. A strong portfolio that really represents strengths and passion is an effective tool for impressing prospective employers," says Billy Blue, Head of College, Andrew Barnum.
'It is important for designers to immerse themselves in real-life projects, expand their portfolio range; to create a point of difference and communicate their inspiration to leave a stand-out impression in an interview," says Barnum.
Upon completion of Bachelor of Applied Design and with portfolio in hand, Billy Blue graduate Diana Chirilas knew she was ready to take an entry position in the design profession.
'In class we were encouraged to set ourselves apart, not only from other students but from everyone in the industry. My flair for branding and use of craft with print-based materials best illustrated my strengths, so I selected a few key pieces to demonstrate this aspect in my portfolio," says Chirilas.
Chirilas then developed a unique binding and folding system to house the design works that she presents to prospective employers.
'The design of my portfolio is the first thing they mention when I receive feedback from the interview," says Chirilas.
With a range of industry-recognised achievements from her time at Billy Blue, practical experience up her sleeve and several offers of employment to date, the talented graphic design artist has drawn her own career path since graduating.
'I was given such a fantastic opportunity to have my work exposed to the industry while studying at Billy Blue. The college hosted a graduate exhibition where industry came and viewed my designs. Now, four months later, I am still being contacted by agencies who were impressed with my work. It has been an amazing response," says Chirilas.
Chirilas has since gained employment in her desired field, business branding, with Interbrand as a junior graphic designer.
Barnum acknowledges the difficulty of gaining entry into the sought after design profession and says it can be hard for graduates to best know how to represent themselves.
'Diana was given the opportunity to choose the company she would work for; a chance most graduates only dream of.
'Billy Blue recognises the demand from employers seeking graduates who possess a strong practical and theoretical background. We help students foster a balance between concept and craft in a studio environment," concludes Barnum.
Billy Blue offers:
Bachelor of Applied Design degrees with majors in Communication Design, Digital Media Design, Branded Fashion, Commercial Interiors, Residential Interiors, Branded Environment, Printing and Graphic Arts
Diploma and Certificate courses in Design Fundamentals, Printing and Graphic Arts