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Curtin University

  • 40,206 undergraduate students
  • 28% international / 72% domestic

Lucy McCarthy

I am no longer studying, I do a lot of freelance design work as a designer.

About you

What did you study at undergraduate level and when did you graduate? What are you studying now? Are you studying and working at the same time?

 I studied a Bachelor of Digital Design at undergrad level. I am no longer studying, I do a lot of freelance design work as a designer.

What have been the most important stages of your life?

The most important stages of my life have been: Completing my Diploma in Interactive Digital Media which allowed me to enter tertiary education. Enrolling myself into university as a mature age student. Completing my Bachelors Degree. My first freelance job as a designer during my final year of studying at University.

How did you get to your current (or most recent) job position and how long have you been working there?

I wanted to further progress my study to gain further experience in my chosen field. Having the university qualification as a digital designer helped me to prove the skills, I have in design work and stand out from the crowd in terms of freelance work, which is a very competitive industry.

I have been advertising my services as a freelancer online. I have been freelancing for just over a year.

About your course

What made you decide to progress with further study?

I chose my course because it had the units I wanted to complete. While there are a lot of similar graphic design and/or internet communication courses, the Bachelor of Digital Design was made up of a combination of the two different industries and had a lot of similar units as my previous diploma.

How did you choose your particular further study course (compared to others)? / Were you weighing up any alternative degrees or career pathways before choosing this qualification?

The process was quite simple as I had already completed a diploma in a similar field. As I signed up through Open Universities to go into the complete degree course, I had a lot of help from the customer service representatives which made it easy to fill out all of the required paperwork.

What was the process to get accepted into your course? What were the prerequisites?

The process was quite simple as I had already completed a diploma in a similar field. As I signed up through Open Universities to go into the complete degree course, I had a lot of help from the customer service representatives which made it easy to fill out all of the required paperwork.

What does your study involve? Can you describe a typical day? (if it’s difficult to describe a typical day, tell us about the last thing you worked on?)

My daily workload involves reading through course material, watching tutorial videos and participating in online lecture and discussion forums. From there, I complete units task by task, usually on a weekly schedule, with larger assignments and assessments due every for or fives weeks. Occasionally there my be a test to complete.

Pros and cons

Will this course be beneficial in your career? Where could you or others in your position go from here? Please explain your answer.

I think this course has been very beneficial to my career as a digital designer, it has given me the hands-on skills I need to pursue my chosen career, as well as teaching me to communicate in a professional setting. I think the possibilities are endless, I myself have chosen freelance work for the time being, but options could be; working for a business as a designer or providing consults to businesses.

What do you love the most about your course? 

I love that there are a lot of friendly and helpful people, including tutor's, co-coordinators and other students who all come together to create a supportive atmosphere in which to learn the course material. There are also the benefits of having discounted software and program that are vital to completing the course.

What are the limitations of your course?

As far as limitations go, I cannot really think of many. Being an online student there a few hurdles to overcome such as working out how to properly interact with other students and teachers. There is also the first learning curve in which one must learn their way around the website which provides the course.

A word to the wise…

Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current undergraduate student? They don’t necessarily have to be related to your studies, or even to one’s professional life.

  1. Take your time to get to know how things work, there are a lot of people in the same position as you and everyone needs a helping hand sometimes so don't be afraid to ask!
  2. Try not to leave things until the last minute, even if you think you can easily complete a task, there might be things that pop up that you realise you need some extra time to figure out.
  3. Socialising with people in your course is a great way to stay on the same page as everyone else.