Graduate profile: Alan Clarke -- finding your first job in a recession

Kicking off our interviews with some of the hottest designers who are graduating this year, we talk to the much-lauded Alan Clarke, who's about to graduate from University College Falmouth, about finding a first job in the current recession and why life in Cornwall is a great base for clear thinking and creativity.

Graphic design student Alan Clarke has already created a stir amongst design blogs with a deceptively simple website and clear classic style. "I have come to believe in clear, considered, communication solutions, simplicity and great ideas," says Alan in a brief introduction to his online portfolio.

With a degree show coming shortly, how do you feel about leaving college?

It is a scary prospect, graphic design is a profession I want very much to work in, but with the economy looking the way it is, I feel there may not be many jobs available.

I also think there are so many design graduates coming from universities and colleges you really have to be good at what you do. Competing for placements is key to getting into the industry.

Alan Clarke's cool and classic Olympic posters proposals for London 2012.

What are you plans when you finish your degree?

I am unsure as to where I want to end up at this time, there are many options. London seems to have the opportunities and quality of design I am looking for. Overseas maybe. Placements would be good as I feel it will help me define where I want to be. I also want to be working on interesting projects.

Do you envisage trying to find a studio to take you on or freelance?

Setting up on my own in the future would be amazing, or with some like minded people. I would like to gain some experience working in a studio first.

Do you think job opportunities will be limited due to the current economic climate?

Yes and no, I think it might be cheap for an agency to employ two graduates instead of a middleweight designer. I know companies are interested in employing students; just that there is a lot of competition for jobs.

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