A useful resource for all student designers is RGD, which stands for The Association of Registered Graphic Designers. It is basically a hub for all designers that promotes and shares knowledge, research, and mentorship, while also working to establish professional standards for all graphic designers.
As a student member, one of the many benefits I get is being able to watch recorded webinars of famous and successful designer sharing their experiences and knowledge. One that I came across was called “3 Things I Didn’t Learn In School” with Julian Brown, a successful motion graphics designer who runs his own studio. This caught my attention, since I wondered what else could he have not learned in school to prepare him for his career? I decided to watch his webinar, and it turns out I learned a lot more then I thought I would.
The three things that Brown said he wish he had learned was “how to actually get a job, how to talk about money, and how to say NO”. All of these problems I think are valuable to student designers because they are all relatable to first-time designers just starting to work in the real world; obstacles I will be facing when I soon graduate. I learned that making connections now will make finding a job easier in the future, that getting money upfront from the start to form a “commitment” to the project is a good way to do business, and being able to say no to bad contracts and spec work will set you free as a designer and benefit your work.
I think after watching this, I will start to follow RGD’s webinars more frequently. I think I will take more advantage of my RGD membership by entering their student work contests, and building up my profile once I have a proper portfolio so that maybe I could start looking for small jobs.
You can visit RGD’s website to find more useful design resources: http://www.rgd.ca