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Five easy ways to get involved with the Design Community Hub

The mood across the design sector has been increasingly buoyant of late with briefs and budgets returning to many (though not all), and a renewed focus on recruitment. But the landscape still feels particularly rough for new designers just starting out.

Right now, most agencies are focused on recruitment at mid-senior level, with the aim of finding designers able to hit the ground running, and that can be discouraging for designers seeking out opportunities to get their career off the ground.

But fostering the next generation of talent is just as vital to sustaining long-term growth for the design sector, and that’s why we’re here.

The Design Community Hub (DCH) was designed as a bridge between education and the workplace. We can help make these steps a little easier and help nurture future talent. We can help the design grads feeling the pinch by offering some solutions to this entry level challenge and it’s easy for every agency or design-lead to get involved. Read on for our five easy ways that you can use your expertise and experience to empower a new generation of designers.

1. Speaker events

All of us have a story to tell and our community wants to hear it. Whether it’s sharing your story of how you started out; talking through a favourite case study; or sharing something you feel passionate and that’s relevant to design students and graduates.

We need a minimum of 30 minutes to 1 hour for the virtual talk. Our project director Emily handles everything else. From the invites to the community, to the tech to run the event. She can help with Q&As beforehand or during. All she needs is a brief description of the event and the speaker’s bio. That’s it.

One recent event saw Bow & Arrow designers, Megan Watkins and Charlotte Liebling telling their story about their journeys into the creative industry, ‘their wonky way in’, showing that there’s not one way.

They told us about taking part with a DCH event: “We had total freedom to share what we wanted, in a way that suited us, and in turn we have been able to access a pool of exciting design talent. As students, we remember how valuable these types of events were and so feel thrilled to have been able to take part ourselves and give back.”

2. Peer-to-peer support

The hub thrives over on the Guild platform. If you haven’t joined yet, please do. You can help here by simply sparing a minute or two of your time to drop in a comment and answer any questions that crop up. Your input could be invaluable. Who knows where your advice or insight could lead a new designer?

3. Portfolio reviews – help the 21-year-old you

Portfolio reviews are a highly valued part of our community. Would you be willing to give us an hour and a half of your time to give feedback to three young designers?

We work with you to find out how you’d like to run these sessions, for example in one block, or over three weeks, and we drive all publicity and registrations over on Guild.

Dan Whetstone, associate director at Lumsden recently held some reviews and said to us: “I got all my jobs through connections, apart from my first as a graduate. Getting that first job felt impossible because I had no meaningful experience, no idea how a design business worked and no clue about what people wanted to see in my portfolio.  

“The DCH portfolio reviews felt like a good way of helping people like the 21-year-old me. Where else can you be interviewed without pressure and ask questions that might feel stupid, but are actually really important?

“Every session was really rewarding. Everyone was very grateful. One person got her first job shortly afterwards. It’s easily one of the best things I’ve done.”

4. Internships

If your agency has an internship to publicise, tell Emily what it is, and we’ll get it posted and promoted on our platforms. Internships are a brilliant way to engage and up-skill young talent making them work-force ready, plus a very easy way to give back.

5. Donations

Giving your time or nominating other team members to get involved with the hub, through the hosting of events, portfolio reviews, community engagement and internships is highly valued, but equally important to us is the continued fund-raising to allow the running of the hub.

Please pop over to our Gofundme page to continue your support.

If you want to get involved in any aspect of the hub or talk about any ideas you have, please head over to the DCH website to get in contact with the Project Director Emily Foulkes.

Keep an eye out for more exciting news from the DCH coming soon and thank you to all of the industry for your support to date. We can’t do it without you!

The Design Community Hub is a cross-industry initiative, created to support talent across the design world. Find out more here.

Image credits: 

Nong V | Unsplash

Anirudh | Unsplash

Bow & Arrow



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