Why I chose to study Design and Digital Media - MA
In 2019, after working for almost three years as a Digital Content Specialist for a start-up in Milan, I decided to change my career path and become a Digital Designer. I wanted to spend a year discovering different design theories and techniques but mostly improving my practice. After in-depth research into several different universities in Italy and Europe, I discovered the MSc in Design and Digital Media at ECA. I choose to apply to this Master’s degree because I liked what it had to offer: a broad range of subjects from Web Design to Game Design. Back then, I didn’t know anything about 3D modelling and animation and I wanted to learn more about it and find out if I liked it. As it turned out, 3D art is now one of my favourites.
My time at ECA
I had the chance to be involved in different projects while studying Design and Digital Media. During the first semester, I created my first 3D model and application in Unity, a software used by the gaming industry. During the second I worked on the prototype of my first mobile app and I had a lot of fun learning about user interface and user experience principles. I had the chance to work in a team together with one of the online students for the creation of a website about mindfulness and I challenged myself with Game Design, where I learned how to make a small interactive experience.
One of the projects I loved the most was my final one because I had the opportunity to create ten 3D illustrations and animations for the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh. I also had the chance to meet Michael Heins, a graduate of Design and Digital Media and founder of More Yum, a digital design studio in Edinburgh. I really enjoyed his lessons and his passion for design which inspired me to pay attention to design details and always be curious about new trends in this amazing industry.
If I could start again, I would probably opt for more courses based around group projects. Learning to work in a team is highly important and collaborating with other designers boosts your creativity and helps you find fresh and original ideas.
My experiences since graduating
I have to be honest: In August 2020, after sending my final project, I felt a bit scared. For me it was time to roll up my sleeves, refresh my portfolio and send my CV to companies in Edinburgh and Scotland. I worried a lot about the competition, and I had to go through many interviews and recruitment processes before I found my current job. In the end, it was worth it as I currently work as UX/UI designer in a start-up company. I love what I do and each day I get to experiment with different design ideas and train my creativity. I think that ECA helped me a lot, not only because I acquired new skills, but also because I built up my confidence as a professional and artist. Before starting my master’s degree, I didn’t believe in my design skills as much. Now if I don’t know how to create something I don’t despair because I know that with passion and perseverance, I can reach my goal. Therefore, my biggest achievement since leaving ECA has been finding a job that allows me to do what I love whilst continuing my career path, stronger and happier than I was before.
My advice to new and current students
To new students starting in September, I would suggest beginning this new adventure with all their passion and strength – it can be tough sometimes, but I think it is highly rewarding in the end, especially if you open yourself up to learning new things, not only from books but from people as well.
To students graduating this year, instead, I would say… congratulations, you made it! Now it is time to keep going and never give up on what you love.