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Petros Afshar

Creative Director at Various, London

BA Graphic Design, 2011

What made you choose Middlesex University?:

Being introduced to the course tutors and going through a tour of the in-house facilities was enough to convince me to study here. Meeting the undergraduates and viewing third year projects also influenced me to choose Middlesex University; as the quality of design work was outstanding and the prospectus had everything I needed to excel in my career as a designer.

What course did you study and what attracted you to that course?:

I studied a BA in Graphic Design. What drew me in was the wide variety of modules that not only touched base on graphic design, but also delved into animation, typography, branding, web design and so much more. The teachers were both proficient and incredibly supportive throughout my years of study.

What aspects of your course did you enjoy the most?:

The flexibility in the project briefs allowed me to explore various mediums of design. Some of the modules also required team contribution which was certainly one of the more enjoyable experiences. Collaborating with other creatives gave me the opportunity to learn, work as a team and expand my skill set over time.

What is your fondest memory of Middlesex?:

My fondest memory would have to be winning a D&AD Award in Branding Communications for Microsoft (2011). Celebrating with my teachers and peers at the night of the ceremony is something I hold dear to this day.

What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective student interested in studying at Middlesex?:

My best piece of advice is to familiarise yourself with the prospectus, visit the facilities at Middlesex and meet with your course tutor if you have any unanswered questions. It's a nerve-wracking-process choosing a university that's right for you, but rest assured my experience with the staff, tutors and peers at the Hendon campus were very positive during my open day visit.

How did your course and time at Middlesex help you to get where you are professionally today?:

The teachers at Middlesex University spend time in pushing students to the best of their abilities. I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for the extensive knowledge and constructive criticism given by fellow peers and teachers alike during seminars. The wide array of modules provided in the prospectus also expanded my design palette and developed my skills over time.

How did you get your foot on the career ladder post university?:

I spent the first few months post-graduation developing and refining personal projects across different design/social media platforms. In time, I was given work opportunities through word of mouth and discovery via design networks. Even now, I am continuously working on personal projects as well as collaborating with other designers.

What has been your defining career break of highlight to date?:

My career highlights have spanned across working for the likes of Hugo Boss, Disney, Nike, Adidas and Pentagram to name a few. My biggest accomplishment would be art directing BBC's Affleunt Millennials event and working as a creative lead for Bloomingdale's Christmas campaign.

What are the top three career tips you would give to current students and recent graduates?:

Always practice your craft, I have never stopped learning despite being in the industry for over a decade. Never be afraid to learn outside of your comfort zone and give yourself time to work on personal projects, be it alone or with other like-minded creatives.

What skills have been most valuable in your career so far and how have you developed these?:

Not only has my design skills grown through experience and working with clients big and small, but my ability to communicate effectively, work collaboratively and never miss a deadline for any given project was a key takeaway that I developed throughout my years at Middlesex.

Are there any tips you can give international students looking to move abroad to study?:

Situated in the heart of London, perfect for students who are looking to experience the culture whilst studying at a fantastic university. I made friends with many international students during my three years, who were ecstatic with their decision to study at Middlesex and found their overall experience positive.

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