Creating a bright and promising future for himself, thirty-three year old Freelance Web Developer Stuart Grant from Gourock tells us about his journey from College to the corporate world of Graphic Design and finding that missing piece to his puzzle.
“When I left school I followed in what I thought were most people’s footsteps – University, embarking on a Mathematics and Computing Science degree at the University of Glasgow. I wasn’t really enjoying the course and it quickly became evident that there was something missing, although at that point I didn’t know what that something was.”
With an interest in Art and Illustration and keen to do something completely different Stuart decided to pursue his passion.
“I was introduced to Graphic Design by a friend and was immediately attracted to its visual nature and was inspired to explore the opportunities – it almost felt like I was rebelling from my original choices.
“Based on my skills I was accepted on to the NC Portfolio course. At the time I was disappointed as I had wanted to go straight into the HND course but looking back the NC level was invaluable – the experimentation with different media and freedom of expression really set me up for the HND level.
“The course was challenging. We were taught how to really think through and develop ideas and not just ride the waves, be complacent or lazy. The lecturers were really good at teasing out my creative abilities. They would ask questions that would encourage me to look at the bigger picture; putting processes in place and justifying decisions and ideas. The course gave me the opportunity to have a lot of fun and be creative at the same time – untimely it challenged me to work hard and really it came down to getting out what you put in.”
Since completing his HND in Graphic Design, Stuart’s career has gone from strength to strength, seeing him quickly climb the corporate ladder from a Junior Web/Print Designer and Developer to that of Freelance Designer/Developer working with a range of well-known names from Adidas to Avis and Andy Murray to David Beckham.
“When I finished College most of my colleagues went on to University but having already experienced that I knew it wasn’t for me. At that time the job market in Scotland was really competitive so after weighing up my options I decided to move to England where there were more opportunities. After being in the right place at the right time I secured a junior position with a company in Milton Keynes transitioning into creative Web Development before moving to London to do freelance work.
“I love what I do. I’m fortunate enough to be in a position where I get to do something different every day. Having the freedom to choose what projects I take on keeps things fresh and stops my career from stagnating. It’s an incredibly rewarding job; taking an initial idea from a client and creating products that come to life that people can use, interact with and hopefully make life easier for them is a great feeling.”
Looking back at his journey Stuart credits the College for their role in his successes so far.
Without a shadow of a doubt I would not be where I am today without the grounding that I received from the College.
"Not only did it provide me with the portfolio that I needed to gain my first job but it allowed me to develop the critical thinking and technical skills needed to be successful in this industry and these are still skills that I apply to my work today.
“I still keep in touch with my old lecturers and sometimes ask them to critique my work. They really inspired me to move forward and push myself to develop my career.”