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From Kentucky to Switzerland, and rollercoasters to banking… Shillington had it all!...

Justin Moore Justin Moore 11 April 2017

Another Shillington course has ended and another group of rising creative stars have flown the nest to embark on their new careers! But what's in store for the design hopefuls after their Shillington course?... I was privileged to visit the students at the Manchester HQ offices & chat with them in their natural habitat!

I was invited by Shillington College to assist with a portfolio & interview advice session. It soon became clear to me that I'd walked into a very close knit group of peers who'd become great friends & supported each other throughout the 3-month course. Some were far from home leaving young families behind on a weekly commute. It struck me that following your dreams & goals can be tough going with sacrifices being made along the way! It shouldn't be taken lightly.

There was an eclectic mix of students, from all walks of life. Originating from Kentucky USA, Cheltenham, Switzerland & London as well as local areas - people certainly do come from near & far to embark on this highly thought of design course. All age groups were represented; some mature students with backgrounds in Repro, rollercoasters, banking and change management, to teenage pupils fresh from A Levels.

During the portfolio & interview advice session, it soon became apparent that the creative bar had certainly been raised very high indeed. The students' professionalism, presentation skills, portfolio quality, the detail in choosing that perfect stock, font & finish were all delightfully impressive! A great pride had been taken in every detail. A flurry of activity in the background distracted me on occasions as reprints were being completed to make sure their portfolios were just so! This was a crucial few hours as their big final show was only moments away!

At 6.00pm The Foundation Coffee Shop in the Northern Quarter was teaming with students, friends, family, industry professionals, academics, artists, photographers, agency owners & creatives. The atmosphere was filled with nerves, tension, excitement, perspiration & music. Shillington students were exposed to the industry - there was no hiding or turning back now! Everything they'd achieved was exposed for all to see. The flickering of portfolio pages ensued, explanations & rationales were presented, business cards were exchanged & alcohol was swigged!

The tutors and organisers glowed with pride - and so they should! The relief that it was all over for another season meant they could relax and watch the fruits of their labour blossom and take their new found place in the creative future.

It was a real pleasure to witness the graduates embracing their new skill sets and confidentially displaying their perfectly formed portfolios to the masses. Design is subjective, so you'll never quite please everyone all of the time. The Shillington graduates grabbed the industry by the scruff of the neck & shouted, "Look what we've achieved!" It was a proud moment indeed for all involved.

Looking around the room, I could spot at least two ex-students who had come to see the new talent emerging & support in any way they can. Two in particular just so happened to be success stories for Become. A few seasons ago we were able to spot their talent, register them with our agency & represent them to our clients. This, in turn, secured them their first jobs in the creative industry with well-known & respected brands & agencies. What more proof do you need that Shillington College produces the work-ready, talented passionate, creatives of the future?! I look forward to meeting the next graduates in a few months time!