student designer1. A day in the life of a soon-to-graduate design student.

2. My name: Jo Sturgess

3. Currently studying Graphic Design & Technology at University College Nordjylland (www.ucn.dk)

4. My online portfolio: www.jsturgess.com

5. Currently living and studying in Aalborg, Denmark.

6. How you Start the Day – ie. Get up what time, travel?
If I have early classes then I get up at about 6:30 and leave home at 7:45. It’s a half hour bus journey to college so I normally get there around 8:20 ready for an 8:30 start. At the moment I’m working on an exam project, which means I work from home. I’m a morning person, so I normally get up around 7:30 and aim to start work by 8:30 at the latest.

7. First jobs – I always allocate 15-30 minutes at the start of the day to check my e-mail and browse facebook/twitter. Then I close these windows to stop myself getting distracted during the rest of the day.

8. The rest of your work day –  This is a pretty tricky question to answer, because no two days are ever the same. Sometimes we have classes from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, but that’s fairly rare and more often than not we either start later or finish earlier. The nature of the classes also varies greatly, but they tend to fall into the following three categories – design, communication or technology.

When I don’t have classes I do a lot of extra study at home – this can include working on college assignments, updating my portfolio, reading design blogs. Over the past couple of months I’ve been redesigning my portfolio, so almost every spare minute of the day has been spent working on that and doing html/css related tutorials – the course I’m doing focuses on printed products and they don’t teach us much about web design so I’ve had to teach myself.

As I mentioned, I’m currently working on an exam project. For this I had to choose a company to work with and had one week to write a synopsis around a problem statement and design a correlating graphical product for that company (in this case the design of a website and blog). I handed that in yesterday and I now have one week to prepare for the oral defense, for which I will have to come with additional graphical products for the company, give a 15 minute presentation and answer questions about my chosen subject.

9. Evening – It’s not very exciting, but I usually spend the evenings at home with my boyfriend, we eat dinner together and watch TV. I have Danish lessons two nights a week and sometimes have shifts at the pub where I work part-time, although normally I just work weekends. If I have an assignment due, then I will often continue working on it after dinner. The exam project I’m working on at the moment has a really limited time frame, so I’ve pretty much been working all day, everyday – I get up early, eat lunch at my desk, have a short break for dinner and will often continue working until 11pm or even later…

10. What you love about your job /course – I find graphic design a fascinating subject, there is so much more to it than I imagined there would be before I started studying and now that I’m nearing the end of the course it’s great to be able to look back and see how everything ties together. I think one of the great things about being a design student is that there are so many possibilities for getting really useful feedback on almost everything you do – so you are constantly learning and developing. I think that the support and feedback you get as a student, both from teachers and other students, is one of the things I’m going to miss the most when I graduate.

11. What you hate about your job /student life – One of the toughest things about student life is the schedule. During the last two semesters the class timetable has been a lot easier than it was in the first year, but I’ve been spending a lot more time working from home on college assignments, my portfolio, doing tutorials or even just reading design blogs. I take the attitude that the more effort I put in, then the more I’ll get out of it and when I compare the designs I’m doing now to those of a year ago I can see that it has been worth it. But it can be really tiring, and I do miss having a more active social life.

To take part in – A day in the life, please read this post