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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 2020 open February 01.

Learn more

Key Dates

2020 — Program 01

February 01 2020

Applications open

February 28 2020

Applications close

March 2020


April – June 2020

Program in session

2020 — Program 02

July 01 2020

Applications open

July 28 2020

Applications close

August 2020


September – November 2020

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 2019 and close July 28 2019.


We have some answers.

Show me all of them.
Who can apply?

Applications are open to anyone studying design (part-time or full-time) who will be completing their course 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 completing their course 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.

Are you a real school?

No. This Is Not University is not an education course and will not serve as a substitute for study. 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.

Is this an internship?

No. It is an opportunity for students to ‘sit in’ on studio life so they can learn about how a design studio operates and experience what the day-to-day looks and feels like. Students will not be working on studio projects and will not have any studio responsibilities.

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 the workload and schedule of both the studio and the student. We aim for each student to have access to the studio for one full day a week, and they are welcome to come and go as they please on this day.

What does a typical day for a TNU student look like?

When spending a full day in the studio students will be exposed to all aspects of studio life. This may include sitting in on internal meetings, briefings, design reviews, brainstorms, and client presentations. Students are also able to schedule folio reviews as well as request studio process and skills tutorials. Students are encouraged to work from the studio on their own projects and book in catch-ups for feedback as well as making full use of studio facilities (wifi, scanner, printer etc.).

Is this individual or group based?

Each program is individually based. There will be some instances where we may invite both students to sit in on client meetings, presentations or studio brainstorms. But the bulk of the program is based on individual experience.

What will I leave with?

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

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. While face-to-face and in-studio time are preferred, if travel and personal schedules are an obstacle then the program can be weighted toward phone calls, video calls and email catch-ups.

How many places are available?

We will be taking on two students per program. Four students per year in total.

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.

Will every applicant hear back?

No, sorry. Due to workload 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 28th February.

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 2019.
Program 02 runs from September to November 2019.

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 your own travel costs, there will be no cost at all for the student.

Do I need insurance?

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

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

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

You can email us at


Current Events

Folios, Interviews & Faux Pas.

This Is Not University and The Design Kids present the next talk in a series of events that aim to explore life in-between full-time study and full-time work.

Should you take a portfolio to an interview? Should your portfolio be portrait or landscape? How many projects should you include? Should you rock up at studios unannounced asking for a job? Should you attend industry events that claim to know all the answers?

Join Christopher Doyle, Stephen Grace and Josie Young from Christopher Doyle & Co. for a talk full of practical advice about interviews, folios and faux pas.

Tickets & Info — book here

This is a FREE event.
Free beer & cider.
Free tote bag for first 10 people to arrive.


Tuesday, June 4th


General Assembly Sydney

Presented by

This Is Not University.
Christopher Doyle & Co.
The Design Kids

Supported by

Ketchup Partners
Young Henrys
General Assembly


Christopher Doyle
Christopher Doyle is an internationally recognised designer with over 17 years experience. He has worked at some of Australia’s leading brand and design agencies and is the Creative Director and founder of Christopher Doyle & Co. He also once found a piece of Nutri-Grain that looked like E.T. then sold it on eBay for a thousand dollars. True story.

Stephen Grace
Stephen Grace is a Sydney-based designer working at Christopher Doyle & Co. Since joining the studio in 2016 he has worked on AGDA Award-winning brand identities and campaigns as a designer, copywriter and motion designer, for a broad range of clients including Spotify, Shillington & Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. He has also delivered talks for Adobe and AGDA and was named a graduate to watch in The Design Kids 2016 Awards. But you can still watch him in 2019.

Josie Young
Josie Young is a Sydney based designer working at Christopher Doyle & Co. 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, sitting on the AGDA Junior Council, speaking at Semi-Permanent, The Design Conference, Adobe Symposium and Sydney Design Festival. She has lectured at Universities, been featured on podcasts Australian Design Radio and Never Not Creative and sat on awards juries for AWARD and AGDA. In 2018 Josie was awarded AGDA’s inaugural Emerging Designer of the Year award.

Past Events

This Is Not A Lecture — 01

This Is Not University presented the first in a series of events that aims to explore life in-between full-time study and full-time work. Our panellists discussed, debated and demystified what it is to enter the design industry.

Listen to the recording on SoundCloud.


Monday, November 5th


General Assembly Sydney


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


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

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