Tom graduated from Lincoln in 2006, so it was great to have him back to share his experiences with us. He started by describing his experience of Uni in 3 words – Year 1: Alcohol, Year 2: Sex and Year 3: Design.
He explained that in his second year he decided to analyse his sex life for a project – which the tutors loved but some girls weren’t too happy about. A brave thing to do! Tom was successful in achieving both ISTD and D&AD awards…
… and then set up his own studio the day after finishing his degree. He spoke about the benefits and pitfalls of going it alone straight out of Uni:
… which he called time on after 2 years and landed a job at RAW. RAW have produced a great range of work from client briefs for the FA:
… to self initiated projects such as the Christmas by colour pantone cards.
Tom explained that dozens of students email him every week asking for a placement/job so it’s important to stand out from the crowd. Tom’s top tips:
1. Take a deep breath.
2. Be organised – ‘book early’ as he says.
3. Do your research – is it the right studio for you?
4. First impressions count – so make yours a good one!
5. Pay attention to the small details – spelling etc
6. Have a diverse portfolio – show off all of your skills…
7. … but go for quality not quantity – 5 in depth projects is Tom’s recommendation.
8. When you land an interview- be on time, be enthusiastic and bring biscuits! (Tom prefers chocolate hobnobs but also likes a gingernut!)
9. Get used to rejection – it’s a tough world out there…
10. … but work hard and you’ll succeed! Make tea, make friends and make the studio want to keep you. Remember, it’s a small industry!
It was a great talk, both humorous and helpful. Seeing that a graduate from
Lincoln has achieved success was inspirational and hopefully put things into
perspective for the current students.
Tom even stayed to do some portfolio surgeries:
A big thanks to Tom and to RAW for letting us borrow him for the day. Another successful Chitter-Chatter talk!