UCPNewsBuilding a Career in Graphic Design: University Centre Peterborough Graduate, Kim Stott, Explains her Professional Development
Building a Career in Graphic Design: University Centre Peterborough Graduate, Kim Stott, Explains her Professional Development
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Kim Stott has led an inspiring career journey since graduating from the Graphic Design Foundation Degree programme at University Centre Peterborough (UCP) (Stamford campus), part of Inspire Education Group (IEG). Sharing her experiences, Kim attributes studying at UCP as a driving force behind securing her coveted position at multichannel digital media company, Stroud & Clarke.
After completing her A Level studies, Kim opted for the university route, submitting applications to the likes of the University of Lincoln and the University of Nottingham. Following an interview at University Centre Peterborough, Kim decided that its Foundation Degree programme in Graphic Design was the ideal choice for pursuing higher education. “With no prior experience in Graphic Design, embarking on this course was a new venture for me”, Kim shared. “Any queries I had were promptly addressed, and assistance was available wherever I sought it”.
“Having tutors that worked within the industry was vital to my success. The creative and constructive feedback prepared me for my future career. Real-life clients can be tough, and having the background knowledge and understanding of how to deal with these situations was one of the key take-aways from my time at UCP”. Kim continued, “The tutors also pushed us to undertake work experience alongside our studies, which was invaluable. Companies are more likely to hire you if you have some prior knowledge of the working world, and it also allows you to work out the kind of jobs you want to pursue”.
Upon completion of the Foundation Degree, Kim was determined to gain a Level 6 qualification. “I received full support from my tutors and classmates throughout the application process. My two years at UCP enabled me to craft an impressive portfolio, which played a vital role in my subsequent university interviews. As a result, I secured a place at Solent University, Southampton, to top up my Foundation Degree to a full Bachelors”, Kim explained. “I went on to achieve a first-class degree, and then secured my first position in industry, just 1 month after graduating in 2019”.
Kim’s first job was as an Artworker at a large print-based studio. Working alongside over sixty other designers, the role offered Kim extensive learning opportunities, including client interaction, multi-tasking and a deep understanding of the print industry. In 2022, Kim advanced within the company, assuming the role of Senior Designer as part of a specialised team, and as such engaged with an exclusive clientele.
After three years with the business, Kim sought a new challenge, and secured a position with Stamford-based creative agency, hue. “Working at hue provided me with a diverse portfolio of projects, many geared towards local businesses. This experience was particularly rewarding, as I was able to witness the direct impact of my work on the local community”, Kim explained. “The close-knit team at hue fostered an atmosphere that encouraged collaborative creativity across a diverse range of projects, including hands-on involvement in organising photoshoots, engaging in client meetings and discussions focused on refining brands”.
In 2023, Kim accepted an exciting new opportunity as a Graphic Designer at London & Norwich-based firm, Stroud & Clarke. Specialising in digital magazines that cater to the technology and business sectors, Kim “finds great fulfilment in closely collaborating with major companies featured in the publication”. Looking ahead into 2024, Kim is excited to lead the design of a new magazine, currently undergoing brand redevelopment. “This new responsibility presents a significant milestone in my design journey”, she shared. “I eagerly anticipate the next phase of my professional growth and career”.
When asked what advice she would give to anyone considering studying with Inspire Education Group, Kim shared, “If you're ready to give your all to your education, diving in with full effort, you'll reap the rewards. Ask questions, keep working, and always aim to go that extra mile. I can say for sure, that without the amazing support and dedication from my tutors, my design journey wouldn't be where it is today. I'm 100% thankful I chose to kick off my career as a Graphic Designer at University Centre Peterborough”.