Confetti students Do It For Real with creative agency

Friday June 10, 2022

Did you know that Confetti owns its own co-working space?

Established back in 2009 and home to a community of businesses and freelancers from the creative industries, Antenna offers countless opportunities for students to gain valuable work experience, make new connections, and even secure employment after graduating!

We recently caught up with STENCIL Creative Agency – one of the many members at Antenna – to find out how they’re benefiting from working with Confetti students.

At the helm of STENCIL is Andy Afford, whose portfolio is extensive. A former professional sportsman, journalist, editor, editorial director, publishing director and in most-recent times business owner. Like Andy, the projects and campaigns STENCIL work on are broad and they work with clients from across the globe.

The agency has been working with Confetti since 2019, primarily taking on students for work experience placements in Graphic Design and VFX. However, the partnership has gone from strength to strength with Confetti graduates now securing full-time roles at the agency.

Andy explains the importance of working with young, creative talent and how Confetti has been a great partnership.

He said, “We saw Antenna and its links with Confetti as a great opportunity to enhance what we as a business aspire to do. As a creative agency, it’s really important that our proposition is a strong and compelling one for our staff, and is something that feels wholly authentic.

“We now have a pool of what I consider to be incredible talent working with us – some of them part-time whilst they study at Confetti, and some who we recruited shortly after they graduated.”

To break it down into facts and figures, at the moment of publishing this blog, STENCIL has provided 40 student work placements, equating to over 5,500 hours of experience, working on 30 commercial projects!

Lucy Greaves, Confetti Work Placement Manager, enjoys her time working with Andy and STENCIL to arrange these real-life work experience opportunities, she said:

“We’ve been working with STENCIL for several years now and our students have found the experience to be invaluable.

“The work placements allow our students to apply the technical and theoretical skills they have acquired on the course into the real world. They’re given the chance to work on live briefs for a range of clients, gaining first-hand experience of the practicalities of being part of a creative design team and understand the benefits of collaborative working.

“We’d like to thank Andy and STENCIL for creating these excellent opportunities and look forward to supporting lots more students in the future.”

We caught up with a couple of students (pictured below) currently on placement at STENCIL, to find out what the opportunity means to them:

1st year FdA Graphics & Digital Design student, Gabriela Zmau, working alongside other members of the STENCIL team.

“Hello, my name is Gabi Zmau, I am an older student from Romania, 34 going on fabulous – I am joking – the mother of two beautiful kids, former casino dealer, aspiring graphic designer.

“I am currently in my first year of the FdA Graphics & Digital Design course and my life time goal is to be of service to people and create timeless designs.

“Through a placement, you have the opportunity to learn from some great people who know the industry, know the business and gain some real experience, which helps in building your confidence… which I personally struggle with a lot.

“I am someone who stresses a lot about the quality of the work I produce, so having people around me who can help with practical advice on how to improve things has been amazing… it’s just like going to the gym, the more you work out, the better it feels, the easier it gets.

“I met [Andy] last year when he came to our class and made a presentation about STENCIL. He had, and still has, a great energy, and I feel there is so much you can learn from him and his team.”

2nd year BTEC level 3 Graphics and Digital Design student, Ben Hunter, working alongside other members of the STENCIL team.

“Hi, I’m Ben Hunter, I’m 18 years old from Nottingham. I am a very big general sports fan but especially basketball and football. I play basketball at a national level and love to create sports-related graphics.

“I’m a 2nd year BTEC level 3 course in Graphics and Digital Design at Confetti and I decided to study graphic design knowing nothing about graphic design. The reason I did this was because I enjoyed creating basketball logos and jersey’s in school. I decided to take this leap of faith because nothing in sixth form interested me and looking back at it now it was the best decision I could have made.

“I chose to participate in STENCIL’s work placement due to it being highly recommended by my tutors. I also knew that taking part in a work placement in general would help me to develop my social skills and technical skills.

“I’ve worked on group projects and worked on some of my own – both of these ways of working have helped me to become more confident in myself and in tackling problems on brief.

“I would definitely recommend doing a work placement whilst studying at Confetti. It has helped me to gain a lot of valuable experiences in many different aspects of graphic design and it will also give you a feel of what being a full-time graphic designer is like and working collaboratively in a design studio too.”

As well as offering up work experience and permanent jobs, the team at STENCIL can also be spotted at Confetti Industry Week – giving advice and delivering masterclasses to all our students. To check out STENCIL’s recent Industry Week talk, visit our Confetti YouTube channel.

Stay tuned for more exciting developments with STENCIL!

Make Antenna your home from home

If you’re studying a degree with Confetti, you can become a member at Antenna after graduating.

Their alumni membership costs just £5.97 per month and is a great way to start your creative career!