Eden-Smith-WintGoing to university and starting a new course is nerve wracking. Just trying to figure out where you need to go and remember everyone’s name is a challenge, before you’ve even started to figure out how to get the most from your degree. So to give you a helping hand, Visual Communication student Eden Smith-Wint shares some top tips on things she wish she’d known when she started out.

1. Choosing a specialist area

If you’re anything like me, you might be unsure as to which field to specialise in in Visual Communication (Photography, Film and Animation, Graphic Design or Illustration) or if you have already chosen a specific area you could be anxious that you may have made the wrong decision. But you don’t have to worry. The first module you study in VisCom (Visual Communication) contains elements of all four sectors giving you the opportunity to get your feet wet in a variety of areas. At the end of the module your asked to make your final decision on which area you would like to go on to study. So if you feel you made the wrong choice when you first applied all is not lost as you get an opportunity to change your mind later on.

2. Experimenting

The first two years of studying VisCom you are encouraged to experiment, be creative and push the boundaries. It will force you out of comfort zone. If you have no experience but are interested in a certain field you can attend one of the many workshops available.  Go down to the print room and experiment with what they have to offer, it’s a good way to diversify your portfolio.

3. Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate

It took me a while to realise how important it was to collaborate with other students, not just those in my class but those studying in different areas. Collaborating with students from different fields was beneficial as I gained new skills and insights. I learnt new techniques to further enhance my chosen field.

4. Complete the Adobe accredited course as soon as possible

The Adobe accredited allows you to gain qualifications in many of the Adobe Creative Cloud programmes such as Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. It isn’t mandatory but it will look great on your CV. Don’t make excuses and keep putting it off otherwise you will never get it done and regret it later on.

5. Ask for help

If you are ever in the VisCom open area and need a bit of advice on your work, ask the person next to you even if you don’t know them. I know it can be a bit daunting asking people we don’t know to give us their opinion on something that is really personal to us, but I find that sometimes it’s best to get advice from those who aren’t our closest friends. People who aren’t afraid to tell you where and how you can improve our work, constructive criticism and useful opinions and solutions is what makes an artist grow.  It’s also a nice way to make new friend.

6. Finally, be creative, give all of projects your best and have fun!

Find out how you could study Visual Communication at Birmingham City University. We have places available starting this September! Call 0121 331 6777 or let us tweet you an offer.

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