Post Graduation Check-In with 2020 Student Award-winner Anushka Todi Provisional RGD

Student Award-winners ponder their educational experience, achievements and offer insight on joining the professional industry. Up next, Anushka Todi Provisional RGD, winner of the 2020 .design Award for Self-Promotional Website for


Anushka is a multi-disciplinary designer based in Toronto. She graduated in 2020 from the York University/Sheridan College joint program in Design (YSDN). Currently working as a Digital Studio Artist at Klick Health she is also co-creator of Dunk in Dip, a new venture combining her love for design and food. Interested in branding, editorial and experiential marketing, the ever-changing characteristics of design feed her curiosity. 
Were there any unexpected benefits for you entering the RGD Student Awards?
When I entered, I didn’t know entrants get feedback on their work from the judges. Since I entered my portfolio website just around the time I began looking for a job, the feedback I received was extremely helpful in polishing my website. It was also a definite confidence booster as my portfolio played a big part in my getting a job. 
What advice would you have for a student considering or planning to enter the Student Awards in 2021?
Do apply! Collect projects you are most proud of and strategically choose the categories you want to enter. Submit as many projects as you are allowed to. I know it’s hard to go back to projects that are buried deep within folders, but dig them out, spruce them up and APPLY! It’s a great way to push yourself and reflect on your projects. If you don’t win, apply again the following year. Also, make sure to get your ‘.design’ domain set up! 
What was the most valuable thing you learned in school that helped prepare you for the working world?
From second year onwards, I spent a lot of time sitting in front of my computer screen staring at all the beautiful work that existed online. It stopped me from trying things out myself. I also realize now that process work is as important as the end result. Working in groups and talking to peers helps me understand multiple perspectives and not get stuck in design trends. I now realize the value of learning by doing, even if that means doing something over and over again. 
Looking back, what do you wish you had spent more time on while you were in school?
I wish I'd spent less time trying to create a perfect final project and had spent more time exploring, experimenting and learning from the process of creation. Projects had tight deadlines and often the pressure would stop me from going outside of my comfort zone and playing with new materials and learning new softwares. I wish I had spent more time making use of my school’s facilities such as the laser cutter, riso printer and vinyl printer rather than shifting pixels on my laptop and choosing the ‘right’ colour palette. 
At the end of four years, I realized I didn’t have any finished project that I was proud of and knew my portfolio had to do all the talking. Since I had no brief and a deadline I set myself, I was able to push myself to be authentic, incorporate fun elements and reflect my personality in my website. 
How did you get your current position?
Definitely not in any traditional way or how I’d expect things to go. Back in March, once I finished my last semester and started looking for internships/jobs, I networked with people in the industry via LinkedIn, sent out several cold emails asking if anyone was hiring. If not, I asked if they might have time to review my portfolio. Through this process I ended up with a remote fellowship, internship and mentorship all at once. I took this opportunity to revamp my resume, meanwhile also attending all relevant webinars. One of the portfolio nights I attended was hosted by Klick Health and I had a great chat with an art director who put in a good word for me. Once there was a suitable position, they reached out to me and after several rounds of interviews from my bedroom, I now work as a Digital Studio Artist.
Can you describe your day-to-day responsibilities? 
At work I’m responsible for formatting and production of various digital design projects including email, websites and banners while collaborating with art directors, copywriters, developers, CRM Operations and the science regulatory team.
Beyond this, I have started a side gig with my sister - Dunk in Dip, making dips. This started as a passion project and enables me to design fun content for our social media including gifs and videos, planning photoshoots, packaging, copywriting and designing labels. Helps me balance the sometimes mundane work routine with a more fun ‘work’ evening!
What have you found the most challenging since you started working? Have you identified any strategies to address this?
One of the biggest challenges for me since working at Klick Health has been understanding the endless medical terminology, abbreviations and marketing agency lingo. I’m getting better at it with time and my team is super-helpful and always has answers for me. Working on these pharma projects all day can be draining, so the time I spend on Dunk in Dip projects in the evenings are exciting and help me stick to a good routine. 
Show us a project you are working on or recently completed that you are excited about/proud of.
Outside of work, Dunk in Dip has been taking up all my time and is my most recent project. Inspired by the places we’ve been, the flavours are from different parts of the globe but with our own twist of Indian ‘masalas’ (spices). Our dips give you a glimpse into our outlook on life — ‘experience the world while staying true to your roots’. We’re hoping to have pop-ups at flea markets and food festivals post-pandemic and I’m excited to create more experiences and designs for when we grow.