Junior Designer, Journey
Bachelor of Design in Communication Design
Growing up she was always creative, says communication design alumna Eilish Out-O’Reilly who is now a junior designer at Journey.
“While I never really drew or painted, I enjoyed curating and had an eye for colour and balance. Once I stumbled across design in high school, I quickly became sold on the idea of making this my career. Studying design at university felt like the next logical step.”
Deciding where to study was easy, Eilish says.
“I chose to study at AUT based on recommendations from high school. We often had current AUT students come to our school and talk about the design degree. The work they were producing and the studio environment really appealed to me.”
Inspiration and support
The creative environment is what she enjoyed most about her studies, Eilish says.
“The people who make up the communication design degree are what makes it special. The culture enables you to be pushed creatively; to constantly better your ideas. Working in groups throughout my degree also prepared me well for the industry, as learning to work with others on a project is an essential skill. This group studio dynamic really came into fruition in the last couple of months of my degree. I spent almost every waking hour with my peers and tutors, bouncing ideas and critiquing each other’s work for our final exhibition. Although this was definitely the hardest part of my degree, it was also the best.
“I’m proud of the fact that in my final year I managed to finish the semester with an A+ average across all my papers for that year. This was a huge achievement for me as I achieved this while completing an internship and helping to organise our end-of-year exhibition. I was awarded the award for top overall student; a truly a humbling moment.”
She says her degree prepared her well for her career now.
“With the Bachelor of Design, you can specialise in your second year and begin to really develop a set of solid skills in that area. This process allowed me to do more of what I love and less of what I didn’t. Pairing this with an internship at BCF Dentsu during my degree really gave me a taste of the real world and enabled me to see if this was the career for me.”
Advice for other students
Eilish, who graduated at the end of 2018, has some great advice for other students.
“Take as many opportunities as you can, seek internships and chase freelance work. Go to every talk under the sun, even if you’re the awkward person in the corner. People will start to remember your face – making connections is so important.”
She also highly recommends applying for scholarships, says Eilish whose studies were supported by a Woolf Fisher First in Family Scholarship.
“I genuinely applied for every scholarship I could, as there’s no harm in doing so. The support from this scholarship has been huge! Knowing that I would come out of university debt free has enabled me to enjoy the experience so much more; allowing me to better focus on my studies. The support was not only financial – the scholarship staff were always there to help me with any problems I faced throughout my degree.”