University industry design partnerships create crucial graduate opportunities

Julia Kadlec's Royal Botanic Gardens project

In today's competitive job market, gaining real-world experience and building strong connections within the industry are essential for students to launch successful careers.

At Billy Blue College of Design at Torrens University, we understand the importance of bridging the gap between academia and industry, and we actively foster partnerships with leading organisations to provide our students with unparalleled opportunities.

One such university industry partnership that exemplifies the calibre of partners we work with is our collaboration with Creative Platform, an award-winning and globally recognised creative agency specialising in consumer-driven branding and packaging.

Recognising the talent and potential of our students, Creative Platform has been actively involved in our internship and graduate placement programs including our Portfolio Review Process.

Billy Blue INTRO providing graduate opportunities

Niccole Lim, a talented student from our Design program, was initially recommended to Creative Platform in May 2021. Her exceptional skills and dedication impressed the Creative Platform team, leading to her being offered a full-time role.

Another of our students, Katarina Jones, also had the opportunity to intern during her trimester break.

Niccole and Katarina's successes are testament to the power of our university industry partnerships in opening doors to the design industry in Australia for our graduates.

In December 2022, Niccole left Creative Platform, creating an opportunity for another one of our students. Having experienced the calibre of talent that comes from Torrens University, the organisation reached out to us again.

This time, during our annual INTRO student-showcase event, Creative Platform spotted the work of Julia Kadlec, a Bachelor of Communication Design student. Impressed by her creativity, passion and attention to detail, Creative Platform asked to formally interview her.

Niccole Lim's foodfuel design project

Julia Kadlec's live brief from Kathmandu

Julia began her study journey with us in 2019 and, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, she remained committed to her studies. Julia's blend of on-campus and online learning allowed her to adapt to changing circumstances while honing her skills.

“The campaign I created for The Royal Botanic Gardens, titled 'VitaPlant Science', was my first illustration project which I developed further for my portfolio,” she said. “One of my most challenging projects, this truly tested my skills to present ideas in a thought-provoking yet equally engaging way.”

During her final year, Julia had the opportunity to work on a live brief from Kathmandu.

“We quickly realised that the standard design brief we were given morphed into a discussion surrounding larger world issues and were given the freedom and rein to address an issue of our choosing under the scope of Benefit Mindset,” she said.

“We had no idea that our project would undertake several twists and turns which eventually landed on comic illustrations and script-writing to final client presentations.”

“It was truly a special end to my studies as it transitioned me from hypothetical briefs to discussing and receiving feedback from a client with profound background experience.”

Julia's dedication to her craft and willingness to push boundaries made her an ideal candidate for Creative Platform, and they were eager to have her join their team.

Genny Chambers, director of Creative Platform, expressed her gratitude to Torrens University for consistently providing talented young designers.

“For the second time Billy Blue College of Design has helped us find a talented young designer to join the team at Creative Platform,” she said.

“They publicised the opportunity with the student body and helped select the final group of candidates for interview. The students were well-prepared and do credit to the school for the way they presented themselves,” she said.

“Everything about our experience was first class, including the designer we ultimately employed.”

VitaPlant Science illustration project

How partnerships with the design industry helps graduates

Creative Platform is a globally recognised brand of the highest calibre and its involvement in activities such as Portfolio Reviews, INTRO and career events highlights the strength of our university industry partnerships.

Julia Kadlec's journey from a student at Torrens University to a junior designer at Creative Platform is a testament to the power of our network and the impact it can have on our students' careers.

The opportunities within the design industry are endless, and Torrens University provides the program to explore your creativity, backed up by the university industry partnership program that helps you realise your dreams.

Through partnerships with organisations like Creative Platform, we empower our students to thrive in the real world and become part of a community of award-winning graduates who can open doors to new opportunities.

Julia’s advice for prospective students is “to be open-minded and collaborative”.

“Design can't flourish in silos and neither can inspiration. Communication Design is an amazing avenue to explore your creativity and I would definitely implore anyone with an inkling about that career path to just go for it. It opens up a plethora of doors and pathways to explore and experiment, and just when you thought you might only be interested in one thing, another aspect draws you in. The opportunities are endless!”

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