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OC honestly: Katia from Mamamia.com.au, Fundamentals of Design student

by Katia Samia

OC honestly is where students of Open Colleges give an honest account of their studies as they work through their course. We’ll see their good days and bad days as we share their journey, and maybe even learn a thing or two ourselves.

Who am I?

Let me introduce myself – my name is Katia. My professional life has taken a pretty standard path – high school, university, full-time work. I progressed straight to university right out of high school and completed a Bachelor of Business with a Marketing major. A few years on and I am currently employed as a Campaign Activations Specialist at Mamamia. My hobbies include trying international cuisines, reading books and blogs, yoga, baking banana bread and binge watching Game of Thrones.

After university, I was hungry to sink my teeth in the workforce and get a “real job” and so after many, many job applications and many, many rejections, a start-up creative agency offered me a role in the Account Services team. It was here that I found my passion for design.

The first six months on the job were an incredibly steep learning curve as I was exposed to the creative process – from the client brief and ideation, to rounds of design, feedback, internal reviews and finally, approval and completion (phew!).

Head shot

What am I studying and why?

As a project manager of creative work, I was heavily involved in working with the creative team to ensure the finished product was exactly what the client was after, if not better. And I always strived for better. I spent countless hours in brainstorms, strategy sessions, briefings and internal reviews, soaking up all the knowledge and insights the creative team imparted.

I was in awe at the designer’s thought process and how it often took just one word or phrase to inspire pages full of sketches or a winning advertising campaign concept. I worked closely with the design team and learnt so much from them. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was missing out because I didn’t have the knowledge or skill to actually do what they were doing.

Fast forward 12 months and I’ve now moved on to Mamamia to explore the world of digital publishing and it’s been a blast so far. I still work closely with a design team and I still yearn to be able to think creatively and do what they do. So I’ve decided it’s about (damn) time I do something about this untapped interest.

Katia with some colleagues at the Open Colleges and Mamamia Mentors event.

Katia with some colleagues at the Open Colleges and Mamamia Mentors event.

After browsing through the plethora of design courses offered by Open Colleges, I’ve just enrolled in the Fundamentals of Design course. It’s an entry-level introduction in the world of graphic design and I have 6 months to complete the course.

I figured this gives me enough time to dip my toe in the water and see if this is an interest I’d like to pursue. I have some groundwork to do in learning to use the Adobe suite first (I’ve never used Photoshop before!), but I’m determined to challenge myself to learn some kick ass new skills.

By the end of the course, I’m hoping to know how to progress through the creative process to design simple assets such as logos and simple graphics. And do you know what the icing on top of the cake is? Completing this course is not only going to make me better at my job, it may even kick start new opportunities for me!

A new experience

I was probably one of the few people that enjoyed the face-to-face element of university, I never skipped a lecture. So studying online is going to be a totally new experience for me, one that I’m both nervous and really excited about.

Online study requires a level of commitment to plan ahead and make the time to sit down and study each week. But after spending eight hours in front of a computer screen every day at work, the last thing I want to do when I get home is look at a computer screen. So to combat this, I’ve blocked out Saturday as my non-negotiable study day. Plus, with access to OpenSpace, I imagine it will be like going to campus, just way more convenient. So convenient that I will probably do it all in my pyjamas.

The Binge - Live podcast recording

Get inspired!

So, now that we’re acquainted, here is my gift to you. I love a good inspirational quote to keep me inspired, so I hope this challenges you to learn something new too.

“If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don’t you will find an excuse.” – Jim Rohn.

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” – Earl Nightingale.

Ready for your next challenge?

If you’re ready to get back to work, login to OpenSpace now or, if you think studying online might be right for you, browse over 100 courses here. Whether you want to follow a passion, change careers or get that promotion, Open Colleges can help.

2 Responses

  1. Briony says:

    Thanks for sharing your story! Will look forward to the next installment of your OC design journey 🙂

  2. David Walker says:

    This post is fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

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