Meet Simon Ashford, a Success Coach for Design students

Simon Ashford, a Torrens Success Coach

At Torrens University, each of our students get access to a personalized and dedicated Success Coach.

These coaches are there to support and encourage students to reach their potential and beyond.Simon Ashford is a Success Coach for Design students and a former Program manager for Graphic Design students. He is originally from Devon in the UK and is based in Melbourne. His career started out as a traditional animator, working for a range of high profile animation film directors such as Stephen Spielberg and Richard Williams. Simon has also worked in computer games as a 3D artist/animator as well rowing his own small boat as a general all-round graphic designer. He served for four years on the AGDA Victorian committee.

His creative passion these days is Typography, lettering and calligraphy. When he is not coaching Simon likes to surf, swim in very cold water, make music, walk Holly the border collie on the beach with his wife, and renovate their period home. He barracks for the Western Bulldogs. (AFL & AFLW)

Why do you think a Success Coach is valuable to students?

Success Coaches are both the glue that keeps our students together and the WD40 that free them up when they get stuck.

What do you love most about your job and why?

I get to help our students grow, develop and reach their potential. I have had the privilege of having amazing inspirational mentors throughout my life. I feel that it is my calling to work with people to help them become the very best version of themselves.

Why did you decide to become a Success Coach?

As an academic and program manager, I was naturally drawn to helping students and staff beyond the perceived boundaries of my job description. When this role was presented to me it was as if my wishes had come true.

Can you give an example of a time you watched a student you coached grow and succeed?

A few years ago I had a student in my Specialisation class. That student was almost at the end of the course and I had yet to see them really find their passion. In conversation, I discovered that this quiet and shy student had a burning passion for traditional sign writing and lettering arts. I was able to encourage them to develop that talent to a point where they are now running their own successful business. They have become a well-known personality in the type community.

Torrens Success Coaches

What other jobs have you had/have that help you be a great success coach?

I have always looked for and value the uniqueness that people bring to the party. This has helped me in my career to put together great teams, hire great people and allow them to use their gifts.

What is the definition of “success” to you?

The definition of Success to me is having the confidence to recognise your natural talents and use those talents to follow your passions. ‘Strengths’ are not what you do — they are how you do what you do.

What advice do you have for a student starting University?

Connect with others and build a positive, supportive network. Find your tribe. Delete every negative person in your address book.

What are your top 5 Strengths? How did learning your strengths help you?

  • Individualisation — I see the uniqueness in people
  • Connectedness — Basically I am a hippy that is great at networking.
  • Strategic — I look for creative alternatives and possibilities in every situation
  • Input — natural teacher
  • Ideation — What is life without ideas!
  • Learner — I am always learning new things.

(Yes, I know that is six. I am a creative. We are not so good with rules). I use all of my talents/strengths every day. Learning about Strengths has really given me the language and vocabulary to really understand myself (and others) I wish I had known all this when I was younger.

 What’s a quote that really inspires you?

“Boats are safe in harbour, but that’s not what boats are built for”

Learn more about our

Success Coaches