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Alumni Profile

Gareth Davies

Gareth Davies

BA (Hons) Interactive Media 2002

Gareth has more than 15 years experience working in the creative and digital industries. Currently Creative Director at Synechron in Dubai, his interests lie in design, technology and retail. You will find him working on digital branch transformation, interactive experiences, websites, mobile apps and design in general. At the age of 36, Gareth, from Sunderland, has run his own agency, taught at the University of Sunderland and been lucky enough to work on fantastic projects around the world. 

Back in 2005 Gareth founded his own design agency in Sunderland, Change Design, and quickly established a reputation of excellent design services and a great suite of clients. Such as the National Glass Centre, Sunderland City Council, Gentoo Housing Group, Newcastle Council and Sunderland AFC. 

During that time Gareth was also working as a part-time Academic Tutor at the University of Sunderland, which came about through an idea to help all design students get work experience, something he feels is essential to all students.

He said: “I taught Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign to the students across the various degree modules. I also worked with third year students offering advice and guidance on their final year projects. It was extremely rewarding and I feel very fortunate to have worked at the University where I studied, helping students to produce great designs, then seeing them develop throughout their degrees.” 

Quote Gareth

In 2010 Gareth moved to Dubai where he's worked as an Art Director and now, Creative Director for various design, digital and technology companies. “I decided to move to Dubai as I’d stopped over there once when travelling to Japan and that raised my interest in working abroad. Dubai was full of opportunity and I needed to start a new stage in my life.” he explained. During these six years, Gareth has made the most of his time and has delivered several digital and innovation projects for clients across North America, Canada, the UK and Dubai. 

He has clear advice for graduates who want to work in the creative industries. “Be 110% positive and enthusiastic about yourself, colleagues and clients. You don't have to be the best designer in the world but having energy and passion for what you do will always give you a great chance. Never stop doing things that might open doors even if it’s hard work at times. Be willing to work somewhere for a low rate or even free, once you're in the door it's likely you can prove yourself. And in this day and age, be vocal about your work online, have a blog about what you love doing and be an expert in a field. It's easy to get recognised if you have good things to share and show.”

During his third year at university Gareth took a placement at a magazine in London and left as a confident graphic designer. “That year gave me the focus I needed. The experience of working away from home and being in a big city was probably the most important experience of my life, I’d caught the big city bug!” he said. 

Asked about his time at the University, Gareth commented: “I loved the brand new state of the art campus. We had excellent programme leaders and lecturers and the option of doing work experiences within the course was key for me.” 

Now a passionate advocate of the University, Gareth likes to come back to the Faculty when he's back in Sunderland to deliver talks and to share his experience and projects with current students.

He concluded: “Many students can go onto wonderful things. Alumni can lead with example and be role models for current students. I think giving inspirational talks to them can help students understand what to expect when they finish their course and help give them direction and confidence in what lies ahead.”

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