Your creative future starts here:
How short courses can support professional career development
- Written byYusuf Tamanna
- Published date 22 September 2021
Noah Strijbos, says she likes to bring a range of disciplines together in her work, such as creative direction mixed with fashion or textures and materials and digital processes.
“I try to gain as much knowledge as possible because that is one of the ways to distinguish yourself from others. I think it is important to make your own thing out of the knowledge you have been given, so that you can develop your own style and direction.”
Based in Amsterdam, Noah is a fashion designer by trade. She started with a junior fashion degree from Summa College in Eindhoven and then progressed on to her bachelor's degree in fashion and design from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. If that wasn’t enough, Noah also completed a minor in Virtual and Augmented Reality at the University of Applied Science in Amsterdam. Keeping true to her word of wanting to combine disciplines together, Noah’s focus as a designer is on digital fashion and the world around it.
At the time we spoke, she was working on her own new digital collection to be shown at fashion week later in the year. Her insistence on working digitally is rooted in a worthy cause.
“Sustainability always plays a crucial role in my work, I aim to make no physical garments, but to only work with digital prototypes.”
Still early in her fashion career – Noah is only 21 years old – she chose to study the Creative Direction Online Short Course with Central Saint Martins. In addition to the course being a great way to work alongside like-minded creatives, Noah saw the short course as a chance to develop herself already so early in her career.
“I wanted to learn more about creative direction, about how to come up with new ideas and how to communicate them to a team. It helps that I was learning from the best in the business at Central Saint Martins!”
Also choosing to study the Creative Direction Online Short Course was Anna Dormidontova. She considers herself a creative and multidisciplinary designer,and she currently works as a graphic designer for an agency called Punch! ABM.
Like Noah, Anna saw the short course as an opportunity to improve herself and her work. “I studied the Creative Direction short course because I really wanted to learn more about how creative processes should work and how I can improve my workflow. I was also interested in how I can work better with other people and what can be done differently.”
Turning to short courses for help with work and professional development is something Julio Lozada is familiar with as they tell me they’ve taken several short courses to help them at various stages of their career.
“The reason I keep coming back to UAL is because of the quality of the tutors and the course contents,” Julio tells me.
Just like Noah and Anna, Julio also took one of our Journalism, PR, media and publishing based short courses, but opted for the Confident Copywriting Online Short Course offered by London College of Communication.
Having recently started a new business – a cleaning service called LemonTree – Julio says he wanted to properly invest in his brand and that meant how the company communicated with customers.
“I realised that to stand out I needed to invest in my brand and part of that is how we communicate our offerings from the inside out. The short course gave me the tools and background knowledge of how to improve my writing in both my business and my personal life.”
Thankfully, Julio’s experience on the short course affirmed what he was hoping to get out of it. “The short course allowed me to learn more about the craft of copywriting. I also really enjoyed the activities in class and the assignments with the tutor. Although this course was online, the course was lively and engaging,” Julio tells me.
Both Anna and Noah enjoyed being able to study alongside students who shared the same passion and interest in creative work that they did and the natural flow and teamwork that came out of that.
Specifically for Noah, she says learning more about the growing digital side of fashion inspired her and will impact the way she approaches her work going forward.
“I loved learning more about the digital world within fashion, I gained all the basic knowledge of fashion design using physical practices, such as sewing jackets and couture pieces. After learning the skills to make my prototypes in 3D, I do not want to go back to working physically. The digital world gives me more possibilities as a designer - I feel I have found more creative freedom.”
Soon after finishing the course, Noah was accepted on to an internship in creative direction for material design at a big company in Herzogenaurach, Germany. She is sure that it is what she learned on the short course that helped her secure the place and has no doubt those same skills will support her when it comes to looking for full-time work.
Since doing the Creative Direction Online Short Course, Anna’s professional career has also gone from strength to strength. “I received a promotion later the same year I did the short course, partly because of how the course allowed me to see a wider picture of collaborating with other teams. I’m planning to use the knowledge to help Punch! team grow as well as do my small side projects to keep my inner kid happy!”
Speaking of career progression, Julio tells me that after completing his short course he was able to finish the website for LemonTree and continues to develop his budding business.
“The course helped me identify the tone of voice for my brand and create a slogan too. I’ve also developed a good relationship with the tutor Andy Imrie who continues to support different projects relating to my business.”
Unsurprisingly, all three students are keen to promote the benefits a short course can have on your professional and creative development.
“For the people who are thinking about doing a short course, just do it! It is a great opportunity to broaden your field of knowledge. It is intensive, but a lot of fun and it is worth it,” Noah says.
Anna adds: “It is a great opportunity to meet new people and develop your skills in loads of different areas. It does not really matter what your background is because it is a lot about how you can come up with creative ideas in any environment.”
Do you think one of our Journalism, PR, media and publishing short courses could help you take the next step in your career?
Our Webinar Series also provides continuing professional development (CPD) training sessions across a wide range of creative subjects.
Visit our upcoming short courses information page to see what courses we are running in the coming months.