Graduate Success

Mark Hamilton

In-house Designer, St John Ambulance

“I am currently an in-house designer for St John ambulance. The department was originally set up to assist the clinical teams to produce good-looking stuff for their internal training programmes, but as time has moved on we are doing a lot of the work for marketing (consumer facing) as well which is good.

“Over the eleven months that I’ve been here I’ve worked on press ads, brochures, certificates, web banners, emails, workbooks, pocketbooks, publications, magazines, annual reports, newsletters, flyers, Christmas cards, business cards, posters, bookmarks, icons, envelopes, vehicles, first aid kits, screen-savers, store signage, vouchers, loyalty cards, calendars, forms, clothing, displays, logos, letterheads, magnets and more! All of it has to adhere to St John branding guidelines while still fulfilling whatever the client is after. So we work quite closely with the national marketing team in Auckland, and the regional marketing teams who are based around the country. I get to use tools like InDesign and Photoshop to do (mostly) cool things each day. That’s better than 80% of what I could be doing!

“ACG Yoobee gave me the qualifications and graphic design experience I needed to help me land my first ‘real job’, here at St John Ambulance. The typesetting skills I learned have been invaluable, as that’s 75% of what I do every day. ACG Yoobee also gave me a good grounding in the technical areas of printing and processing documents which has helped a lot because we work very closely with printers.

“Studying at ACG Yoobee was both stressful and enjoyable! Each programme I did – the Diploma of Computer Graphic Design and the Diploma of Digital Media (Advanced) - had varying degrees of both. The variety of projects in the Graphic Design programme was easily the best part of that course. It was great to go from a book, to a magazine, to a brochure in the space of a few weeks.

“The Diploma of Digital Media (Advanced) had a different feel to it due to the fact that each of the projects stretched over several weeks instead of just one or two as it had in Graphic Design. The emphasis was a lot more on process rather than the final product. I particularly enjoyed working on the group projects and doing presentations. While it was a bit nerve-wracking giving presentations on design solutions in front of fellow students and teachers, I really enjoyed putting together my pitches - they provide a lot of satisfaction.

“During my Graphic Design course I won a design competition on 99Designs and in my Diploma of Digital Media (Advanced) I won a rebranding award for the Christchurch City Choir. I did a little bit of freelance work throughout my studies and also spent a few months as an intern doing small business branding. Although the internship wasn’t a wild success, it did give me valuable work experience which I was able to talk about at my job interview for St John, so looking back on it, I am glad I did it.

“I plan to stay on at St John for a while yet. I really enjoy working as part of an in-house design team, and have no pressing desire to move into a creative agency at this stage. Eventually though, I’d like to do some travel, and also branch out and do some work that’s not so computer-orientated. Graphic design is fun, but there’s a lot of sitting around tapping buttons! Not quite sure what kind of work that would be though.  In any case, that’s years away!”


Mark Studied