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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.

2021 sessions are yet to be announced pending updated structures and plans in accordance with ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines.

Learn more

Key Dates

Watch this space.

2021 sessions are yet to be announced pending updated structures and plans in accordance with ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines.

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.


We have some answers.

Show me all of them.
Who can apply?

Applications are open to current design students (part-time or full-time) who will be completing their course within 12 months of the application deadline. Unfortunately, we do not accept graduates.

Who should apply?

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


Past 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.


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
Stephen Grace
Josie Young

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

Tina Victoria Afshar

Jane Duru

Nicole Liedberg


Josie Young


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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