In everything one does in life, real-world experience prepares you for ultimate success like nothing else. As a design student, the more you can gain real-world project opportunities, the more prepared you will be for life after graduation.
Benefits for Design Students Working on Real-World Projects vs Class Assignments:
Build Your Portfolio
Clients want to see finished projects to evaluate the range of your abilities. Real-world projects they can see in the pages of a magazine or live on a website carry more weight than something you created in class for a hypothetical client. Every student will have a portfolio of work they did for their classes. The ones who will stand out in the crowd will have a portfolio of real-world design projects.
Expand Your Network
Your classmates and instructors can be valuable connections that might help you after graduation. However, the best connections are going come from the network you build with actual clients. Do a great job completing a real design project for a client and you now have a new reference and one more real-world example of your talents and abilities. Great designers have clients that use them over and over again and are always willing to refer them to potential new clients.
Increase Your Communication
A successful design project in the real-world requires effective communication. It starts with clearly defined terms and deliverables. During a project keeping a client informed of progress and gaining feedback will be essential for you to create a finished design that exceeds their expectations. Sometimes this can also mean dealing with an unhappy client. These are nuances you will not learn in the classroom.
Grow Your Confidence
Getting a job after graduation or becoming a successful freelancer will depend on your ability to sell yourself. This requires confidence. If the only projects you have completed have been at your design school, then you might have some doubts if you are good enough or if the other candidates are better. You have to believe in your talents, abilities, and passion for design. The more real-world experience you have the greater your confidence.
Get Started Now!
Of course, there is tremendous value in preparation. Some level of preparation and practice are necessary to lay a solid foundation. Your time in design school is an important part of that, but the goal is not just to put your talents to work and create beautiful design. No one wants to be the starving artist anymore.
Look for as many projects as you can to get involved in creating real work for real clients. It could be creating a logo for a friend’s start-up or designing a website for a local charity. Each experience will become a building block leading to bigger and better opportunities.
The Designity community was created especially with design students in mind. Create a profile and discover a freelance project to work on during this semester. Check out Designity for students to learn more how you can benefit from this platform as design student.
Lastly, check out this video for more inspiration: