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Shyanne Searley

MA Visual Communication
Graduated 2022

Shyanne Searley - Headshot

After studying BA (Hons) Animation at Solent, Shyanne decided to continue her studies here, and enrolled on MA Visual Communication. She now works as the Graduate Intern (Marketing and Management) at Re:So, the University’s creative retail outlet.

Why did you decide to do a postgraduate course?

After my bachelor's, I wanted to continue my studies, to be a more rounded candidate when applying for positions in my field. I felt it would give me an edge that other candidates didn't have.

What was the best thing about your course lecturers?

When it came to my bachelor’s, the best things about my lecturers would be their ongoing support, approachability, and experience in the field. Progressing onto my master’s I liked my course leader’s variety of knowledge and experience.

How did your postgraduate course differ from your undergraduate studies?

I graduated with a bachelor’s in animation and went on to study a master's in visual communication. Although they were both an art subject, they differed very differently from each other. When studying my master’s, it was a very independent process, with a lecture and then a task of self-study and a practical to complete. This differed from my bachelor’s which included a lot more assisted and supportive learning.

Did you have any concerns about studying a postgraduate course?

When studying my master’s, my main concern was the decrease of support. I overcame this by using SOL (Solent's Online Learning Platform) to access lectures, PowerPoints and other documents that I could, and accessed them as many times as I needed.

What’s the most important thing you learned?

The most important thing I learned was the variety of jobs you can apply to under the umbrella of your course subject. With animation and visual communication, I had a taste of storyboarding, character art, concept art, illustration, graphic design, typography, animating, editing, rendering, and through this, I feel like I have a lot more possibilities than I did before I studied the course.

Have your studies helped you with your current role?

I am currently going into my second year as a graduate intern of marketing and management at Solent University. Though it is a developmental role, which allows me to learn while working, I strongly feel the knowledge gained in my BA and MA courses have really helped me thrive in this position. Especially as I act as social media manager in the role, creating graphics, photography, videos, as well as organising and managing the platforms.

Did you do any work experience as part of your course?

In my BA, we were encouraged to do work experience in the way of freelancing. Course lecturers taught us how to price our work and time, market ourselves, create portfolios, as well as the existing software’s we could use. This was a very good opportunity to get some experience and gain some confidence as a creative. Also, lecturers shared their projects, I really enjoyed this part of the course.

Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of studying a postgraduate course?

Research the course, go to an open day and speak to people currently on the course if you can.

Tell us a bit about your experience as a postgraduate student?

In my BA, I gained a lot of transferable skills that helped me when moving onto studying an MA, one of those skills was organisation. So, when studying my MA, I was able to study full time as well as work part time, due to learned techniques I had recently learnt at Solent.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

I loved studying my bachelor's course in animation. I cannot recommend it enough; it is an amazing course, and the lecturers are so talented and down to earth. Honestly, it was one of the best decisions I have made.