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BA Graphic Communication student, Aanand Tank. Completed Real Jobs projects. Studied abroad. Designer job at Sky.

Alumni Aanand’s degree in BA Graphic Communication helped him develop the skills that springboarded him onto an exciting career in design. He joins the long list of other successful graduates from the department of Typography and Graphic Communication.

“I’m currently a graphic designer at Sky, working in the UI digital team as a designer there and just before that I was a junior graphic designer at a marketing agency in Wokingham.” 

Like many students, when searching for the right place to study, Aanand had a list of what he would like out of his course. He knew he wanted to study design, but one of his main priorities was that his design course needed to offer a study abroad option. He wanted to learn about the theory of design and discover the academic side of the field, whilst having a practice design focus. 

“It wasn't just like all other design courses, that are focused exclusively on drawing or making things. Reading was also focused on research and writing.” 

“For the course itself, if you're someone that wants that analytical side, and you want to be able to still research and write and understand the theory of why certain design works and why certain design doesn't work. I think it's great for that. And I think if you want to come out with individual projects that are personal to you, I think it's fantastic for that.” 

Study Abroad

As part of the study abroad programme, he attended Duale-Hochschule Baden-Württemburg in Germany for three months. This experience in Germany helped develop his key design communication skills, that would set him up for a career as a designer. 

“I studied abroad in my second year at DHBW in Ravensburg, Germany. . Learning to communicate with someone that speaks a different language, really set me up for working in the design industry, because you work across such different things with people with such different cultures and backgrounds, it's really important to have those sorts of skills.” 

Real Jobs

Anand was provided with a unique experience to work directly with clients while studying for his degree through the department’s Real Jobs Scheme. This not only added to  his portfolio, but gave him experience working independently with clients and answering real world briefs, prior to graduation. 

“You start Real Jobs in your second year, and you do a minimum of two projects working on a live brief. You work directly with the client from A to B, learning how to handle issues. It gives your portfolio pieces that are unique. It really set me up for freelance, it taught me how to create client relationships, and keep my networking going.” 

Starting a career as a designer

Aanand had a promising start to his career securing a full-time role at a local design agency. Similar to other students at Reading, he utilised the connections within the department to find his role. The Department of Typography and Graphic Communication has strong partnerships with local and national design agencies, these connections are primed for students to utilise when looking for their graduate roles. 

“James Lloyd would share roles that were available with us, encouraging us to apply. I was lucky enough to get my foot in the door at Kenekt Marketing Agency, it was a really great way to start because it's such a small team.” 

Working in a small team, gave Aanand the chance to learn about all the factors that come together to make a design agency successful. 

“It was great working in a small team, I was able to get so much hands on experience, because I was able to work closely with the Creative Director, and the Accounting Team. I was able to learn loads of different skills and get involved in different tasks. From talking to clients to learning more about the finance, budgeting side of things to being taught artworking skills. I was able to deploy the skills that Id learned whilst I was at university in the real world, it also gave me the portfolio breadth to then lead me the job that I got at Sky.”

Aanand would recommend the University of Reading to anyone looking to gain the skills they need to succeed in the design industry. 

“I would recommend studying at Reading - If you like understanding theory and analysing things as well as design, it's great. Thinking designers perfectly summarizes it.” 

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