Patrick started his University of Salford journey at our partner institution called Luxun Academy of Fine Arts (LAFA) in China. He studied the BA Digital Media Arts transfer programme, which involved three years studying the course in China before doing his final year here at Salford. He went on to complete his master’s in Visual Communication.
Read his story below to find out how the courses and his networking skills helped him achieve career success.
A transfer programme at LAFA
“I chose Salford because I was attracted by its location and connections with MediaCity; the creative hub in the northwest of England.
During my time at LAFA, I enjoyed being taught by a variety of British teachers from the University of Salford, which helped me expand my perspective. At first, it was difficult to keep up with the lessons and understand the British accent. But after a few months, it became much easier as I settled into the course.
During this time, I spoke to my lecturers as much as possible and asked them questions. This helped me to progress with my communication and technical skills more quickly.
For the final year of the course, my classmates and I came over to study at the campus at Salford. It was exciting as we were now immersed in a new place with different cultures, food, and surroundings.
I love how friendly and open the community is here. I pushed myself to go out and speak to all different people and this helped me settle in.”
Studying MA Visual Communication
“As my goal was always to live and work in the UK, I decided to study for a master’s degree to help me develop my knowledge and skills and gain more experience of living in the country.
Firstly, I studied the Pre-sessional English course to help me improve my academic English further. This month-long course also helped me to become accustomed to the culture in the UK, as the teachers took us on trips to York, London and around Manchester. This experience of mixing with a multi-cultural group improved my confidence in communicating.
I enjoyed how the master’s course allowed me to specialise in the areas that I am most interested in. I was encouraged to think critically and logically. My favourite project was when I created a new typeface which was based on the handle of the bus, to connect everyday living into my design.
I was honoured to have been given the ‘Student of the Year Award’ for my ongoing academic and professional and pastoral support at the School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology.”
A six-month long internship
“During my master’s course, I had the opportunity to do an internship. I had three interviews and then I secured a 6-month long internship at Immersify Education, a technology education company in Manchester city centre.
It was an easy process as there were lots of opportunities for internships on the university website and the careers and enterprise team were very helpful too.
My internship involved doing UI and UX work which was interesting and allowed me to apply my technical skills from the course to real clients."
Finding work in the UK after graduating
“A month after I graduated from my course with a first-class degree, I got a job at Epigram as a junior graphic designer. I do animation and graphic design, working on a range of clients in the UK, Malaysia, USA, and Hong Kong.
My contacts at the University of Salford helped me get recommended for the role, and the company loved my work and thought I would be an excellent fit.
It was easy to get a Graduate Visa, and it only took a week to arrive.”
Advice for international students
“If you’re an international student who wants to find work in the UK, I recommend some key things:
- Work on your technical skills and if you’re unsure of anything, ask your lecturer for support. They’re so friendly and always happy to help you. The more questions you ask your lecturers, the more insights you will get into the industry you want to work in.
- Be positive, friendly, and outgoing. Get a part-time job, even just in a restaurant, as it will help improve your language skills and cultural awareness.
- Network as much as you can. Networking will help you gain more confidence and contacts and lead to exciting opportunities. The lecturers at Salford have great connections with people in the industry, and they introduce you to these contacts too, which is super helpful. As for employers, employees' personalities matter too, so always be friendly and work on your communication skills.
- You should leave yourself half a year to think about or plan for your Graduate Route Visa. Don't wait until the last minute!
Finally, knowing what I wanted to do from the outset helped me get the most out of my studies and focus on my goal. Just think about what you want and then go for it!”