The Flip Side of a Branding and Strategy grad

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Recently I had the honour of being asked to speak at AGDA Student Council’s event; First five out, along with some very talented creatives in different fields such as branding and strategy, letterpress printing and illustration.

The event provides students with an insight into the first five years of a graphic designer’s professional practice and career. While the experience was very exciting and extremely daunting, it put into perspective things I may have otherwise not really considered in great detail. Focusing on your personal experiences, what you believe in, and what you would wish to pass onto others was something I had never really voluntarily thought about. You hear about design leaders talking about such topics all the time, but as a grad I had never really thought about it. In turn it became quite an eye opening experience that started a conversation about my personal brand and what I strive for in my career.

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With the subject being “The Flip Side” my initial thoughts were “what the hell am I going to talk about?!” but it became apparent when you look at the flip side of getting into the industry. I wanted to share my false starts and the hurdles I overcame, rather than focusing on the highlights, which are a more common topic.

So I told my journey, from completing University, the struggles of dealing with rejection, (something that many could relate to) through to the highlights of working within a high level, fast paced studio. I learnt there is no right or wrong process when it comes to getting a job in the creative field, it is usually down to hard work, persistence, who you know and well timed luck. Each experience is different. The beauty of these events is for students and recent grads to hear these peoples stories.


Telling my story of how I struggled with the notion of failure; worked in three studios, completed an internship, received many “your not the right fit” emails and made many un-returned phone calls; Overall I took away from the experience that your dream goal is paramount, and you should never stop being a student. It doesn’t matter how you get there or what path you take. Your dream can and will change along the way – but as long as your doing what you love, with people you admire, and continue learning and growing as a designer then you are successful.


Thanks to the student council who put together a great night, and the other speakers who were truly inspiring.

Merren Spink
Design Creative 

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