- 11 January 2024
- 4 minutes
The careers our graduates pursue are as unique as the individuals that study here. From furthering their practice as artists and designers to joining world leading organisations, alumni from the RCA excel in their chosen fields.
Read on to learn more about recent graduate destinations and consider where the RCA might take your career.
Set up your own business
Gabriella Mas (Service Design MA, 2022) is the founder of startup (re)boot, which partners with professional sports teams to reduce waste.
“Studying at the RCA was an invaluable experience. The access to established corporations and incredibly talented alumni allowed me to insert myself into the broader world of design and learn from them firsthand. The RCA provided me with the opportunity to not only grow into myself as a designer, but learn how to apply design practices in reality; the practice of bringing an idea to life.” – Gabriella Mas, read more here.
Since launching in 2018, Sinéad O’Dwyer’s (Fashion MA, 2018) eponymous London-based label has become known for creating clothes for non-sample-size bodies and challenging the toxic beauty standards of the fashion industry.
“I was very confused about working in fashion when I decided to do an MA, due to the work environment and values of the industry. I needed space to explore what I could contribute, that is what the focus was for me. The freedom to think broadly about what I wanted to contribute as a thinker and maker was a luxury I really needed at the time.” – Sinéad O’Dwyer, read more here.
Work for leading international organisations
Victor Wang (Curating Contemporary Art MA, 2014) is artistic director and chief curator of M WOODS Museum, an independent, not-for-profit art museum in Beijing split across two sites – and one of China’s largest and most prominent contemporary art museums.
“The RCA made me more fluent in a type of institutional language – one that makes us more aware of the mechanisms at play between culture and authority in Europe. Because I come from a more non-traditional curatorial background, this was helpful to learn.” – Victor Wang, read more here.
Bahareh Saboktakin (Innovation Design Engineering MA/MSc, 2021) is a Senior Software Designer at the Ford Human Centred Design Lab.
“[At the RCA] I discovered my passion for combining design and technology to create powerful tools for solving problems and identifying future innovation opportunities. The programme gave me the courage to embrace this passion and provided me with the tools and techniques to bring it to life. I learned that technology can be used as a design tool to gain early insights and maximise impact.” – Bahareh Saboktakin, read more here.
Win grants and awards
Chloe Evans (Writing MA, 2021) was awarded a grant from Arts Council England’s (ACE) ‘Developing your Creative Practice’ fund to develop a book based on her professional experiences working as an immigration lawyer.
“[At the RCA] I was encouraged to be ambitious. Head of Programme Jeremy Millar, suggested a way to work towards writing a book, and said I should think about submitting to the Fitzcarraldo Essay Prize. It made me realise that I could imagine working on something bigger and gave me a path to keep me tapped in.” – Chloe Evans, read more here.
‘Ice Merchants’, the short animation by RCA alumnus João Gonzalez (Animation MA, 2020) was nominated for Best Animated Short at the 2023 Academy Awards and won awards at Cannes International Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival and Valladolid International Film Festival.
João, reflected that at the RCA “they give you all the creative freedom that you need to develop your artistic voice.” Alongside this freedom to explore, João discovered the RCA community, describing it as “one of the most fulfilling parts of studying there. It was not a competitive environment at all; we were just always pushing at each other. It was a very healthy environment to be in.” – João Gonzalez, read more here.
Develop your artistic practice
Since graduating from Visual Communication MA at the RCA in 2020, José García Oliva has established his participatory art practice through residencies, exhibitions, performances and a publication. He is currently the 2023/24 Participation Residency Artist at Gasworks, London.
“The main thing I gained from my time at the RCA was understanding how to position myself as a collaborator in socially engaged practice. When working with a group of people, I gained a better understanding of my position and how to question ethical approaches when working collaboratively.” – José García Oliva, read more here.
Chloe Abrahams (Contemporary Art Practice MA, 2022) is a Sri Lankan British artist and filmmaker. Her documentary The Taste of Mango won Best Debut Director – Feature Documentary at the 2023 British Independent Film Awards.
“Prior to starting the Masters I had been working in documentary film distribution for a few years. It was very focused on the market and sales aspect of filmmaking, which left me wanting to experiment and make things without thinking of the commercial implications. I wanted to spend time making for the sake of making. I knew my film would suffer if I didn't do that.” – Chloe Abrahams, read more here.
Establish a design studio
Plan B is a two-woman creative studio, founded by Betty Brunfaut and Bakhtawer (Baki) Haider while they were studying MA Visual Communication at the RCA. Since graduating in 2020 they have worked with clients including London Film Week, the V&A and Science Gallery London and run a publishing house Sold Out.
“We pretty much met on the first day at the RCA… We got put in the same classes over and over again and realised it’s easy to work together, it’s really rewarding and fun. We found we had the same approach towards practising graphic design when it comes to values and ethics, but we also had the same balance of interests in wanting to find out how to run a studio.” – Baki Haider, read more here.
Yussef Agbo-Ola (Environmental Architecture MA, 2019) is the founder and creative director at multidisciplinary architectural and artistic practice Olaniyi Studio, London.
“The RCA is a super-dynamic environment. It’s a multidisciplinary, multicultural environment that fosters amazing creativity with teaching, rigour and experimental ways of thinking. It fostered an environment where I could expand my ideology, my understanding about art and design and architecture while giving me the space to think about scale in a totally different way.” – Yussef Agbo-Ola, read more here.
Launch a career in academia
Dr Iulia Ionescu (PhD School of Design, 2023) is an interdisciplinary artist and technologist. Her work explores the space between the technical and social facets of AI and the co-construction of meaning in human-AI interaction.
“Conducting this research opened up some exciting doors. I now serve as the programme director for creative computing and robotics postgraduate courses at the University of the Arts London, where I have the opportunity to promote the importance of practice-based research and shape the education of future technologists and artists.” – Dr Iulia Ionescu, read more here.
Mingxin Li (Environmental Architecture MA, 2020) is a current research student in the School of Architecture where he is continuing using research methods he discovered on the MA Environmental Architecture programme.
“Studying MA Environmental Architecture at the RCA gave me a new perspective on architecture, the environment and the world we are living in, which significantly expanded my vision and pushed me to figure out my future career.” – Mingxin Li, read more here.