<> SILENCE YOUR CRITIC: Dorka's Story | Arden University



Looking to the make the most of her creative side, Dorka is one of the students studying graphic design at Arden university. 

Moving from Hungary to North Yorkshire, Dorka fell in love with the beautiful scenery, and with Leeds nearby, didn't feel she was missing out on anything through rural life. 

Having put her passion to one side in search of what she felt was a more conventional career, Dorka has now overcome her inner critic and is ready to fully embrace her creativity. 

Find out more about her story below.

What about graphic design appeals to you?

I've always been a creative person, but when I was younger, I didn't have the chance to go to university, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do and art just wasn't an option in my family. For my parents, it was more of a hobby. And as I started working in more of a creative role, I had a marketing position. And I just realised I really enjoyed it. And my colleagues would say, you know, that was a great job you did there. So, then I started to look for courses. And that's how I came across Arden university.

When your family said that art was just a hobby, how did that affect you?

So, at the time, I thought I had to go on a different path and I had to just start working. And I would somehow find a career, which is what happened to me. It took a long time for that, but even after that, I don't regret starting my studies later in life.

What was it that led you to studying with Arden?

So initially, I was just searching for short courses, and I wasn't really sure what was out there. But when I came across the Arden website, it just seemed quite friendly. So, I rang up, and the person on the other end of the phone line was friendly and helpful. He was really positive. I didn't actually have all the qualifications I needed. So, I just asked a lot of questions. And he just kind of gave me hope that I could actually get there.

So now, you’re about a year away from finishing your degree, how have you enjoyed university so far?

I've really enjoyed studying. I've enjoyed the online aspect of it because I could just carry on with my life. And I enjoy the community, I love talking to my peers. It's just nice to be able to talk to people who are in the same class who have similar backgrounds to me, because we all do online studying for some reason, family work, any other circumstances.

Before I started, I was a little bit worried I would feel alone. I wasn't sure how I would be able to contact people. I remember the first week it was quite hard, I wasn't sure who to email who to message, I think I messaged one of the girls and said, “Do you know what we're supposed to be doing?” And then, quite shortly after you realise that you can actually get in touch with students support or the tutors, who always explain everything. You get sent videos, we have video calls, we can email them separately or on the platform. And I don't really have anyone creative around me. So having that sense of community and being able to talk to my tutors is really important. And I do feel like it's a little community and I'm a year away from finishing, and I will really miss it.

This campaign is about showing people individuals who are silencing their inner critics. What kind of things made you doubt yourself in the past?

So, I have a lot of self-doubt. I had a lot of self-doubt before I started, and along the way, you do have a little inner voice that asks you questions all the time. Things like: “Am I good enough?” “Am I too old?” I will be over 30, when I finish university, so “Is it going to be strange that I'm a graduate applying for jobs and I'm not in my early 20s?” “Am I creative enough or are there other people that are just better than me?”

How do you find the strength to overcome that voice in your head?

I just try to dive in and give it my best shot. For me here, there's such a good little community of students and you just talk to them and soon you realise that everyone feels the same. Imposter syndrome is everywhere. When you talk about it though, you will feel supported by tutors, students, and family as well. At the end of the day, everyone's got some kind of self-doubt. But just diving into university later in life has helped me overcome it and a lot of my doubts were unfounded. Now, I'm around other students who are a similar age to myself, or a little bit older than me, which is really supportive. Life’s too short, so you need to do something that you're passionate about, that you love, and that you enjoy.

Do you think there’s a personal side to it too? You are a creative person, so you feel you don’t want to lose touch with that part of yourself?

Yes, absolutely. For me it’s really important that I try and find a career path that I can use my creativity in. You can't deny who you are. At the end of the day, I always had, I always had creative hobbies. So it just kept popping up everywhere that I would, I would just love to do it. Every day you spend a majority of your life at work. So why would I do something that's that I can do, but I don't quite enjoy as much.

What have been some of your favourite things you’ve studied on the course?

It’s a really creative course. I have learned a lot of things I didn't think I would be learning about. Things like about art history, illustration, animation, visual media. And it's not just all digital stuff. It opens up your imagination, and you can explore a lot of different media that you didn't think you would enjoy trying out. Graphic design is everywhere, if you look around you. And it's an exciting course, because I will be able to work in many different places.

What would you like to do with the degree in the future?

I would love to work at a creative agency in a studio to gain experience, learn from other creatives who have been doing the job for years, and just be surrounded by other creatives to be able to bounce ideas. And then long term, I would love to go freelance.

I would love to explore animation more. I love illustration. I think I'm open to trying quite a lot of different areas. I'm not quite sure yet. I feel like I haven't quite found that one thing that I enjoy, I think I would need to start working somewhere and then that might just lead me down a path.

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