Clearing and adjustment

Student stories

Faizan Qureshi header image

"The quality of teaching was superb. I was able to get a lot of input on the theory behind my subject and why designers make the decisions that we do."

Faizan Qureshi

Graphic Communication

What circumstances led to you entering the Clearing process?

 I had just turned 21 and was working for a Las Vegas based web development and marketing company. I wanted to expand my skillset and gain a professional qualification to strengthen my value as a Graphic Designer.

Why did you choose Loughborough?

I hadn’t planned on going to University, however I came across a news article in the Guardian about clearing opportunities and Loughborough University stood out to me from their list as it was the only university in the top 10 that did Graphic Design. This made it my top choice.

What kind of support did you receive from the University during your studies?

I had a particularly bad medical emergency at the end of first year that interfered with my final hand-in deadline, so the school staff advised me to take as much time as I needed for surgery and recovery, and made me feel very comfortable about my situation. This allowed me to hand in my work the following year and come back to university with a whole new mind set. 

What did you enjoy about your course?

What I enjoyed most about my course was the range of briefs that were available to us, including the chance to create our own. This allowed me to work on a variety of projects that I always wanted to and I was able to highlight my strengths through this.

The quality of teaching was superb. I was able to get a lot of input on the theory behind my subject and why designers make the decisions that we do. The visiting lecturers were particularly helpful as well because they brought in a lot of practical advice from industry experience.

What did you enjoy about the experience of being at Loughborough?

I feel like the friends that I have made at Loughborough University will be friends for life. I was able to connect with people from all sorts of backgrounds which has broadened my cultural knowledge and experience.

The student life here is amazing. You feel like you’re part of such a community with support all around you, and things to occupy your time all year round. 

How has Loughborough inspired you?

Loughborough has definitely inspired me to aim high. A first class honours degree has given me the confidence to achieve what I wanted to in my career. It has led to many connections and opportunities that I would not have experienced had it not been for Loughborough.

One of the most inspiring and innovative people that I met through Loughborough University was one of our alumni –Andrew Fisher, CEO of Shazam, who despite being in such a high profile job has managed to stay humble and create positivity around him. 

What have you done since leaving Loughborough?

 In my final year of studies, I partnered with a classmate to start a business offering graphic design services. We were already freelancing with a few clients from across the globe so we both had valuable experience that we could use for this. Together, we founded Humble Hipster Studios (now Humble Design) offering a range of services including branding & identity, print design and web development.

After we graduated, we were offered a place at the University’s graduate commercialisation hub, The Studio, where we were able to expand our business. The Studio provided us with a space to work from, integral business and marketing training and all around emotional and practical support throughout their programme.

One of our first clients after founding the company was NHS Trust in Leicester, who contracted us to brand their new Clinical Education Centre. We have also worked with clients both big and small including Loughborough University, Andson Foundation, Dreamspace Community, Nottingham Trent University, Hyde Park Suites and Birmingham City Council with support from Arts Council England, NESTA and British Council.

I have also been appointed as a lecturer in the Graphic Communication & Illustration course at Loughborough University to help bring in a professional viewpoint to the students work, and to commercialise their work.

Have you got any advice for Clearing students this year?

If you’re anything like me and wasn’t sure if university was for you until applications closed, Clearing is the best opportunity to make something of yourself!