From There To Now

How I got from being out of work in the U.K.
to being a Creative intern at VBAT in Amsterdam


Summer 2013. I was at a point where at 33, where my life wasn’t really going anywhere. I needed to make an executive decision.

I had a friend who was a Graphic Designer at a Sportswear company, and when one day I saw what she actually did on a computer screen, a light went on in my head. But, at the time I wasn’t entirely sure what to do about it.

Then a few weeks later, I had a call from a friend asking if I could use Illustrator/Photoshop. I said: ‘not really!’, but he said the company that he worked for were short staffed and he knew I was out of work, so was prepared to take a chance.

So, working part time as a Freelancer, I began to learn about Graphic Design and I really enjoyed it. I then realised that I needed to get trained up properly and started looking into courses.

Fast forward to October ’13 and I had got onto a Digital Media Design Foundation Degree in a small, but very quaint town called Lewes, about half hour drive from where I lived in Eastbourne.

I knew as soon as I started that it was the decision to have made, and for the first time in a long time, felt very content with my life.

Fast forward again to March 2014, and I met a lovely girl called Amy who worked and lived in Amsterdam. We started dating and obviously I went on many weekend trips to Amsterdam!

At the beginning of 2015, I realised that I should look into doing my 3rd year of uni maybe in Amsterdam. I also started looking into internships, as I would need to fill the Summer holidays with something productive.

I emailed a lot of companies but got no replies. I then got the opportunity to speak to the HR lady at Tommy Hilfiger (where my girlfriend works), as they had an intern position coming up in September, but it transpired that in The Netherlands, you need to be in education up to/or overlapping to when you start an internship, so I couldn’t do that. But, the lady mentioned that her boyfriend worked for a Graphic Design company, and told me to send my resume to him.

That person was Graham (some of you may know him!). We had a great Skype chat, and a week later, I was informed that I had got the position!
At this point, I had about 2 months to condense my belongings right down and prepare to move to the Dam!

Then at the end of May, I broke my hip in a mountain bike accident. This put a bit of ‘a spanner in the works’ as they say in the U.K., but I was undeterred, and still managed to fly over on the date I had planned, against the doctors advice!

Paul Lett

So on the 1st of July, I started at VBAT. I have now been here for a week, and I’m really enjoying it. The work is challenging, but my colleagues are always happy to help. I’m looking forward to learning a lot of new things and making new friends on my journey to be a professional Graphic Designer.

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