I’m gonna tell you a little about how it is to study in Helsinki Design School. First a bit about it. It’s a private school and it’s situated in the centre of Helsinki. In school, you can study e.g. fashion design, interior design, photography and graphic design (the one I study right now) I’ve also studied photography there so my angle of the educations is from experience. We meet twice a month (Friday and Saturday) and we get two assignment that needs to be finished until the next meeting. The teachers give professional feedback. The grades are from 1 to 5. The education language is Finnish.
There are different angles to look at it. I’ve read online about how someone thinks the school doesn’t give you a real diploma. Another one is, people shouldn’t waste time and money studying there. Go to a real school, they say. Well, Helsinki Design School is real. Just because it’s a private school, it doesn’t mean it’s fake. Private schools in Finland is not that common so people think only local schools have real educations. But that’s where they are wrong. So it’s isn’t cheap to study there but there are much more expensive schools in the world. Besides, here the teachers are professionals in their own field. They know how it is in the design business. You get to go to places you wouldn’t usually go. The school is under a year but you get to learn a lot. It really depends on how you look at things. If you look for instant success, you’re in the wrong school. If you’re not looking for a long education or you’re not really sure what you want to be, then this school is good for you.
So far the graphic design education has been interesting. Even if some of the subjects are familiar (like the Adobe programs) I still have learned new things. I always got the assignment ready in time. I’ve expected the grades would be the lowest which is 1 but I haven’t. It just proves I’m not that bad after all. My goal is not getting a 5 because grades are only numbers. It’s the feedback that counts. It’s a big plus that I know how to use the tools so I’m not totally novice. If I was a beginner the assignments would probably be more difficult to do. We are about 40 students so the class is quite full. But you can always ask your classmates if you need help. It’s always nice to go to school when the subjects are interesting and the atmosphere in the classroom is great. I didn’t regret the photography course and I don’t regret this one either. If your hopes are too high, it can disappoint. During the course, we’re making a portfolio of our best work and we’re gonna present it in front of the class the second last day. This Friday and Saturday it’s time to wake up early again but it’s worth it. I’m actually really excited to go back and learn new things.
Every school has its downsides and Helsinki Design School is no exception. I know a few who didn’t get what they wanted from the photography course. Some even quit because it disappointed them so much. In some things, it did disappoint me but that’s not really the school’s fault. The course was quite new then and it had its downside. It didn’t help me get a job or contacts. Some employers don’t really appreciate people who studied at this school which is a shame since you really do learn how the industry works. What I did get from this school was working in a photo studio, old school photography and visiting an advertising agency. It also ensured me that photography is not something I want to do for a living after all. I don’t remember much about what I learned there though. Some have found success after they went to this school so maybe the school isn’t as useless as someone might think.
I don’t look for success. I applied because I wanted to add another skill to my resume. I’m not satisfied with only one skill. I’m the happiest when I can do different things. Versatility is the key and that’s the reason why I want to learn different things. Helsinki Design School is perfect for me. I don’t have time to study for years. The length of the education is long enough and I can do other things too. That’s why I applied for the internship I wrote about in an earlier post. (FYI, I did get an interview) It would be a great addition to this education. In school, you learn the basics but you learn the best in a real life situation. Every person needs the motivation to continue with things they like the best and this is mine.