Graphic and Media Design
What is success? Earlier this year (March 13th to be exact), during DPS preparation we were discussing this question, and success as a concept has been stuck on my mind ever since, as if I was obsessed with finding a/the correct answer. During the summer, whether I was laying under the sun on a beautiful beach in Greece, or sending emails about internship positions, all I could think about was this very same question. What is success? When will I consider myself successful?
Having spent ages thinking about it now I realise, success is not about having it all. Success is a choice and it’s built on our daily “insignificant” habits, like arriving at meetings 5 minutes earlier, whether you’re meeting your parents or the Prime Minister. Success is respecting yourself, it’s saying ‘thank you’, it’s hearing before talking, acting instead of complaining, observing instead of criticising. Success is caring for others – honestly – but also caring for yourself. It’s wearing a smile, always finding ways to love what you do, knowing when to say yes and when to say no. Success is to want what you have simply because you have what you want. Success is considering your job the most important job in the world, even if you’re the only one who sees it that way. Success is having expectations of yourself, concentrating on your goals, making someone’s day because you cared enough to cheer yourself up first. Success is succeeding even when you fail; because you choose to succeed.
For me, the ideal way to achieve that is by following one simple rule: Always being the best version of myself. And I’ve found this to be a crucial key to opening new doors.
I followed this rule on my university feedback session with my personal tutor on June; I was there early, I was prepared, as if this was going to be a career-changing experience, I was smiling, and I was ready to get criticised - in a productive way. During the tutorial my tutor offered me my very first DPS job, the chance to work with her on a bigger project concerning mental health, MINDWORKS. We worked together over the summer, and through my research and the needs of the work I contacted lots of creative people, LCC alumni and recent graduates. I was put out of my comfort zone, having to design a website, which is a first for me, and was pressured to work really fast and efficient in order to meet tight deadlines.
For me, the most meaningful aspect of this was that I got to see and understand projects produced by graduate students, their thoughts and their process. I was able to compare and contrast ideas, materials, ways of working, different executions and that enabled me to prepare myself not only for my upcoming placement year, but also for the level of proficiency that is expected of me when working on my final major projects during my final academic year.
During my assignments I did not succeed in all tasks; I kept sending millions of drafts that were not what Penny, my tutor, expected, she kept giving me advice on what could be done differently and what I could improve and it took time to agree on final outcomes. Penny, and I, however, worked really hard and managed to launch the project at the LDF Emergence Show, which was worth all of the intense moments I experienced. It made me proud of myself and it allowed me to learn what it means to design for the real world. And all this simply by going to a meeting on time, smiling, setting aside time to properly interact with people and loving what I do. It’s the result of trying to be the best version of myself. And it worked out for me, so I’ll keep doing it. That’s the plan for my next DPS adventures and I hope it takes me exactly where I need to be.
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