What Work Experience Taught me that Uni didn't

Today, I finished my last day of work experience at Enigma. The whole week was incredible, the people were inspiring, the agency was vibrant and I learnt more in the space of a week than I had all year.

So now I’m at home I am realizing just how much I want to get into the real world and do design for a living and also how studying at uni isn’t quite the same as the real thing. I have really enjoyed my degree and have learnt a heaps, but if I could have learnt on the job….? In addition to that, there is no required placement for my degree… simply because it is too hard to find places for everyone.

I did one week of work experience at Home Beautiful magazine. I learnt how the office flowed, the systems through which each page and each decision has to go though before it goes to print. I also learnt about file management and various admin tasks as well as prize draws, excel spreadsheets, contacting clients etc as well as helping and observing photo shoots and designing page layouts.

This week at Enigma, I learnt how to use QuickPrint (had never come across this at uni), how to navigate their extensive computer filing system, to pay extra attention to detail, how a full design studio functions, a bit of animation and even went to a radio voice recording. In addition to this, I had Art Director Michael Newton over my shoulder helping and advising, which was invaluable (after discovering he loves mint slice biscuits I bought him a packet however somehow I don’t think it quite compares).

The basic skills I had learnt at uni using software and self-critiquing were great, but it was challenging being in a real environment. Doing basic jobs like research and editing type were suddenly the most interesting and exciting things I had ever done!

In summary, Im not quite sure what I started this entry for… I am very tired and will probably go to bed now. I think it had something to do with everyone should do work experience because while uni gives you some good skills, nothing beats learning on the job, especially if you are lucky enough to be surrounded by brilliant and creative people.

Goodnight! :)

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