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Zak Billingham

Graphic Communication - BA (Hons)

Whilst striving towards a career in the design field, Zak utilised his skillset to produce a campaign aimed at males suffering with mental health. Having overcome his own set of challenges, Zak wanted to raise awareness and is extremely proud of his contribution towards such an important cause.

"I wasn’t always a very confident person, so coming to university and not knowing anyone or having any idea what tasks I would be given was very daunting to me. However, I couldn’t be happier about completing and submitting my application. I managed to fit in sooner than I thought I ever would – everyone has a thriving positive attitude, which made me feel accepted in this community straight away.

I have become more independent and built a strong mindset and attitude towards the work I do. Since coming to BCU I have grown as a person who can confidently speak about my work and communicate my ideas both visually and verbally. Although the workload can become stressful, it has helped me improve my time management skills and I have never missed a deadline.

I was always set on studying graphic design and after visiting several universities and having my portfolio reviewed, I instantly knew that BCU would be the right choice for me – it was bold, modern and innovative.”

I’m currently on the stepping stones of a career not just from work set by my tutors but freelance work I have produced for clients. Throughout my time here I have built a strong portfolio for my future aspirations - my goal is to achieve my degree and to secure full-time employment in a professional design agency. BCU has offered trips to design agencies which has given me an idea of the work-life I could have and a better understanding of the different roles I can have in the industry.

Looking back at my time at BCU I’m most proud of the work I did for ‘Lift the Lid’, which focuses on raising awareness for male mental health in the UK. This is a subject I feel passionate about as I have struggled with my own mental health issues in the past and it was incredibly rewarding to see my work displayed in the university where it was seen by hundreds of people every day.

The campaign features a range of posters, adverts and social media posts which I designed and have been displayed across the University, encouraging men to open up and feel confident talking about their feelings.”

With BCU I get to experience everything this city has to offer and learn how to channel its energy into my art. I want people all over the world to see what I create and where it’s created.

To me "I AM BCU" is a story, a representation of everything I have achieved in my BCU life - the ups, the downs and other obstacles I have faced during my studies to become the person I am right now. Becoming part of this university has helped me gain a personal journey I can be proud to carry with me and tell everyone about for the rest of my life.”

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