Published Jul 20, 2021
Graphic Design Grad's Portfolio Leads to Art Director Role in Kuwait
Ahmad Ghassan Al Adham utilized student and freelance work to land an art director position with the Kuwait-based Al Babtain Group's automotive team.
Adopting a creative career path never felt like much of an option for Ahmad Ghassan Al Adham when he was growing up in Cairo. As he was preparing for college, Ahmad was presented with little choice when it came to fields of study to pursue his post-secondary education, encountering strong pressure to study either engineering or medicine.
"I was too young to decide and really understand what was going on," recalls Ahmad. "Under that pressure, I actually enrolled in architecture at a university in Egypt, and I just didn't like it at all."
Not content with settling for a career that didn't allow him to express his innate creativity, Ahmad opted for a change. After a few years working in design with an advertising agency in Egypt, he knew he needed to hone his technical skills if he wanted his career to blossom.
"Even though I was depending initially on my talent, research, and learning, I was missing this academic part where I actually really understood design principles, color principles, and all of that," he says.
Taking his time, Ahmad spent nearly a year researching a wide variety of schools offering design programs around the world, particularly ones that would allow him to stay in Egypt.
"I made a massive sheet with a lot of universities that offered online platforms. I had a column with all the criteria on which I was basing my decision," says Ahmad. "After a lot of research, Full Sail was actually the best among all, especially that it's also an art-oriented university."
Halfway through his Graphic Design degree program at Full Sail, Ahmad was approached by a recruiter from Kuwait-based Al Babtain for a position designing digital assets for the company's automotive brands including Nissan, Renault, and Infiniti.
"They saw my portfolio online, and I was very careful back then to make sure that I didn't have any mediocre work [in it]," says the grad. Ahmad's portfolio, comprised of student work and work from freelance clients, was enough to secure the role with Al Babtain. "At Full Sail [I tried] to treat each assignment as if it was a real-life project, as if it were an actual client."
Today, Ahmad's utilization of his education is invaluable, helping him design for a massive audience across Kuwait as well as designing brand packages and digital assets for several Egyptian food and lifestyle brands.
"I was fortunate to learn how to at least edit files on my own, but the academic part where I learned the principles of design, that was really helpful for me, and it gave me confidence."