In case you hadn’t already noticed, 2020 has been a bit of a weird year. In particular, 2020 graduates are facing unprecedented challenges when it comes to entering the workforce now that their studies are complete. Claire Baldwin analyses the impact the pandemic has had on graduates and how we can support them through this uncertain period.

Having personally been thrown straight from university into the 2008 recession, I have a lot of sympathy for this year’s graduates, whose position is far from enviable. If you’re currently staring into the unknown and feeling overwhelmed about what fate might befall you, you might find comfort in the experiences of these creatives who survived the 2008 financial crash.

There are also many new schemes that have been created to support graduates, offering great prospects that will help them to move forward, while traditional methods have been updated to provide the best possible outcome for students in these unusual circumstances.

Birmingham Design BFFs scheme

BFF is a scheme that pairs industry professionals with graduates who would benefit from support and advice during this challenging time.

It’s an amazing opportunity for designers to give back to the creative community, and DWH’s own David Huskison has been paired with BCU student Eleanor Wells. Now in the final year of a Graphic Communication degree, Eleanor aspires to be the next Annie Atkins and start a career designing props for film and television.

For the next 12 months, Dave will be Eleanor’s mentor—and he has lots of useful insights to offer!

Coventry Degree Show 2020

Coventry University’s annual degree show celebrates the work of its graduating students. Due to the current health crisis, it’s unable to go ahead in its usual format and will instead be going virtual.

Student designers, artists, performers, photographers, filmmakers and writers will host a range of events and will share videos of themselves working on their final major projects. This immersive online experience will give lecturers and potential employers more insight than they’ve ever had before into the work that has gone into producing these final pieces.

As well as showcasing student work, the new-style degree show will also feature guest speakers and industry talks. There will even be an Industry Night for potential employers, helping these talented young creatives to take their first steps towards making their mark outside of education.

We could be seeing the beginning of a new era where virtual degree shows become standard practice. With BA students at Liverpool John Moores University hosting their degree show on Mars this year, we reckon it’s the perfect opportunity for students to really showcase their creative potential.

Coventry Artists

We got involved with the Coventry Artists’ final year project with photography student Radvile Malinovskaja, who came into the office and conducted a couple of interviews with us before taking some portrait shots in the office (back when we still had an office!).

We also contributed to this by submitting a self portrait for the final project book. This was supposed to be printed and given out at the degree show but was instead distributed as a PDF, as the show was unable to go ahead due to COVID-19.

Self portrait of our Creative Director as part of the Coventry Artists project

Supporting local creatives

We know how challenging the creative industry can be at the best of times, which is why we love supporting up-and-coming talents in the area. If you are a graduate or are still studying and have any questions about the industry, drop us a line and we’ll be happy to chat.