Starting an ID career late...

Ok I know this topic has been beaten to death but I think my situation is different to most.

10 years ago I completed a degree in product design and development. (I’m 33 now) I wasn’t the best student, I was a bit lazy and missed a lot of tutorials and lectures. I have a very young head for my age and at that stage I wasn’t ready for university. Despite this I completed the degree (i got a 2:2) and even managed to win the RSA Design Award. If you studied in the UK then you may have heard of this. At the end of my 3 year course was the new designers exhibition. Everyone went apart from me, because my final project was awful and I was too embarrassed to show up, even though I had won the RSA.

After university my path changed and I ended up running my own business for a few years and then working in finance up until now. Now I’m 33 and I realise what a great opportunity I threw away.

The question I ask… Is it too late to get start a career in design bearing in mind I already have the degree?

I am already working on my sketching (I have a thread in the sketching forum) and my plan is to have nice sketching skills and a new kick ass portfolio finished in 18 months time whilst brushing up on autocad, 3ds max etc along the way.

What are my chances of getting an internship or junior position if I have a decent portfolio bearing in mind my age?

I think if your portfolio is solid you will get some interviews. The rest is somewhat dependent on your interview skills and how you can convey your strengths to the interviewer. Realistically, if you can show you are a good or very good designer, and you can say in addition to that you can add all of this other experience to your professional knowledge of working in finance and running your own business, then I think the right employer would see you as an asset. I wouldn’t apply for internships, but maybe junior to mid level positions and try to explain from there. A firm like Seymour Powell or a corporation might look favorably on your background. I think a smaller firm or smaller company would probably be less open to it.

I would agree, i think a corporate design dept, would look more favorably and see your background as a foundation and value vs small firms that are (in my experience) looking for design specialists. As for age the answer to that is No it is not too late. I would also suggest that you make sure that you focus on some self defined projects that show your creative design thinking and ability to provide your background knowledge to making your solutions more complete beyond simply sketching and CAD.
But be careful and insure that the self defined projects truly identify a real problem and that your designs provide a real viable solution.

Thanks again guys.

Michael what is the reason against internships? The age thing?

Cheers :slight_smile:

I would never pass up talented people because of age. If anything I would admire someone’s persistence to pursue their dreams.

If that is all you could get, then go for it, but hopefully you can skip that.