TNU_Icon Created with Sketch.
TNU_Icon Created with Sketch.

This is not university.
This is not industry.
This is the bit in-between.

This Is Not University is a mentoring and career guidance initiative run by Sydney design studio Christopher Doyle & Co. It is aimed at bridging the gap between full-time study and full-time work, offering design students a series of mentoring and guidance sessions with design professionals over a 3 month period.

Applications for Program 01 2019 open February 01.

Learn more

Key Dates


July 01 2018

Applications open

July 27 2018

Applications close

August 2018


September – November 2018

Program in session



Program 01

February 01 2019

Applications open

February 28 2019

Applications close

March 2019


April – June 2019

Program in session


Program 02

July 01 2019

Applications open

July 28 2019

Applications close

August 2019


September – November 2019

Program in session

How to Apply

Applying is simple.
Just submit the following PDFs:

Your CV

Within this please tell us —

  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Your phone number
  • The name of your Uni / College / School
  • Your course title
  • Your course duration
  • Expected date of course completion
  • Why you are applying
    (1 page maximum please).

Your portfolio

Containing 3 projects that best demonstrate your thinking and your doing.
Within each project please include —

  • A written overview of the brief and the solution.
  • A selection of supporting imagery.
    (10 pages maximum please, maximum file size 10MB).

Email both PDFs to

Please note that only successful applicants will be notified.

Applications open July 01 2018 and close July 27 2018.


We have some answers.

Show me all of them.
Are you a real school?

No. This Is Not University is not an education course and in no way will it serve as a substitute for study. Nor is it an internship. It is a response to the ever-increasing need for students and young designers to be more closely connected to, and engaged with, the industry they are entering.

Who can apply?

Applications are open to anyone studying design (part-time or full-time) who will be entering the creative industry within 12 months of the application deadline.

Who should apply?

Applications are open to anyone studying design (part-time or full-time) who will be entering the creative industry within 12 months of the application deadline. When we say applications are open to anyone we mean it. We encourage applications from Indigenous Australians, people with disability, people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. Every application will be read and every applicant will be considered.

How can I mess this up?

By mailing us packages.
By sending us Dropbox or Google Drive links.
By sending us website links.
By embedding videos in your PDF.
By including the wrong number of projects.
By not applying.

How many places are available?

To begin with we will only be taking on 2 students per program. Depending on studio workload and resourcing this will hopefully increase in the future.

Is this individual or group based?

Each program is individual based. There are no group sessions.

Will every applicant hear back?

No, sorry. Due to work load and time constraints only successful applicants will be notified.

Is there an interview?

Yes. Once applications have closed there will be an interview process. Successful applicants will be notified about scheduling their interview after the 27th July.

Do applicants need to be Sydney based?

Ideally, yes. As with full-time roles within the studio we see face to face time with students as key to the mentoring process. During the program students will ideally spend time at the studio sharing and discussing their projects and plans. In addition to spending time in the studio there will be scheduled Skype and email catchups. While face to face time is preferred, if travel and personal schedules are an obstacle then the program can be weighted toward phone calls and Skype sessions to cater for this.

How long does the program go for?

Each program runs for 3 months.

When does the program start / end?

Program 01 runs from April to June (beginning in 2019).
Program 02 runs from September to November.

Do I get paid?

No. The program is not paid. Successful applicants are not required to complete a minimum number of hours or deliver any work. Students will not be working on studio projects or contributing to any client work.

Do I have to pay anything?

No. Aside from travel costs there will be no cost at all to the student.

What’s the program structure?

Students will engage in a series of both in-person and online catch-ups. These will vary in length and frequency, and will be determined based on workload and schedule of the studio and the student.

Does this count toward the work experience requirement for my course?

Probably not. You’d need to check with your lecturer or school to confirm.

Is this a graduate program for Christopher Doyle & Co.?

No. This program exists solely to help design students transition more smoothly from study to professional practice. There is no guarantee of employment once the program is completed.

What will I leave with?

Insight into how a professional design studio operates, guidance on portfolio building and self promotion, job application processes and just general design life help.

Do I need insurance?

No. As you will not be based in the studio, no insurance is required.

I have a question you haven’t answered. How do I ask it?

You can email us at

This Is Not A Lecture

This event is sold out.

This Is Not University presents the first in a series of events that aim to explore life in-between full-time study and full-time work. Join our panellists as they discuss, debate and demystify what it is to enter the design industry.


Monday, November 5th
6:00 pm arrival for a 6:30 pm start


General Assembly Sydney

Join the waitlist.


Gabby Lord
Gabby Lord is a small human with a boss surname. More importantly, she’s a designer and art director who has spent the past four years abroad, working in Berlin. Her portfolio is a diverse mix of projects ranging from local businesses to global campaigns for brands such as Ableton and Red Bull Music Academy. Gabby writes a weekly newsletter called OMGLORD, sharing thoughts on design, creativity and handy resources. You should maybe, definitely, subscribe to it.

Tina Victoria Afshar
Tina Victoria Afshar is a designer living and working in Melbourne.

Now four years since graduating from a Bachelor of Design at Monash University, Tina is part of the team at Common State. She previously worked at The Design Kids and The Company You Keep, and interned at Love + Money Agency and Yoke.

Finding enjoyment and love in being an active member of the design community, Tina has been an AGDA Victoria council-woman since 2014 and currently sits as Secretary. Over the years she has moderated panel discussions and spoken at industry events for BJ Ball and AGDA; been a Juror for the 2017 AGDA Student Awards; contributed illustrations for the 2017 Semi Permanent Book and Stolen Publication. Most recently she’s dabbled in the ever-growing podcast world as a guest co-host on Australian Design Radio and a guest on Never Not Creative.

Her current hobbies include kissing her nephew’s cheeks and feeding her fantasy fiction obsession (mostly Game of Thrones or Harry Potter… sorry, Lord of the Rings).

Jane Duru
As Senior Copywriter at Re, Jane straddles the worlds of creative and strategy, working with clients to bring complex ideas to life through compelling storytelling. Her less-than-traditional career path into branding – studying science at Cambridge University before moving into magazine publishing, travel journalism, and content marketing – has given her a unique approach to the craft of writing for brands. Her creative work has been recognised and awarded by D&AD, AGDA and Best awards. Alongside her day job she actively contributes to the design community through mentoring and public speaking.

Nicole Liedberg
Nicole is a multi-disciplinary designer and art director from Sweden working in brand identity and visual communications. She specialises in creating strategic and effective design solutions across a broad range of sectors.

Arriving in Australia in 2009, Nicole has since worked for award-winning design studios such as MAUD, Houston Group and Eskimo, where she has continued to build a diverse but specialised skillset across clients such as Jurlique, David Jones, State Library of NSW, Blackmores, Solotel Group, Sydney Dance Company, and more.

Nicole is currently freelancing in Sydney, and is passionate about working and collaborating with like-minded creatives and clients across both local and international projects.


Josie Young
Josie Young is a Sydney based designer working at Christopher Doyle & Co.

Josie graduated from the University of Wollongong in 2015 with a Bachelor of Creative Arts majoring in Graphic Design. Since joining the team at Christopher Doyle & Co. in 2016 she has worked on AGDA award-winning projects and has established herself as an active member of the design community. She has spoken at Semi Permanent and Adobe Creative Jam, has delivered lectures at The University of Wollongong and The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences and was a part of Sydney Design Festival’s International Women’s Day events. Josie has been a Junior Councillor for AGDA NSW since 2016 and was a jury member for the 2017 AGDA Student Awards.

Continuing activity in the design community in 2018 has seen Josie deliver a talk to a group of aspiring creatives with Christopher Doyle at the inaugural Design Conference High Schools event. She tested out her radio face, filling in as guest co-host for a number of Australian Design Radio episodes and as a guest on a series of Never Not Creative episodes. Most recently she delivered a talk with her fellow CD&Co. designer, Stephen Grace, at the Adobe Symposium.


Christopher Doyle & Co.

Young Henrys

Cake Wines

General Assembly


Australian Design Radio

We are currently taking suggestions for topics of discussion, debate and demystification. Send them through to


If you have questions that haven’t been answered here, or would like to know more about any part of the program, you can email us at

Subscribe below to stay up to date on everything TNU
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

You can also follow us on Instagram and Twitter