Louise Berger (CC2010) attended the Cornish campus of St Leonard’s College in the early 2000s. Being an outstanding visual arts student at the time – known to regularly design banners and posters for Cornish events – she has gone on to pursue a career in the field of design, enjoying a mixture of freelance and team-based experiences.

I could not be more grateful for my years at Cornish; the strong sense of community, focus on sustainability, encouragement to be yourself, and ethos of making a difference in the world were hugely formative for me. Following Year 12, I studied a Bachelor of Communication Design at RMIT. This degree equipped me with the skills to run my own freelance graphic design business for several years, which was equally challenging and rewarding.

Like so many freelancers, the COVID-19 pandemic was difficult and isolating, and after 2020, I felt a strong pull to change tack and return to becoming part of a team. I made the significant decision to switch from working as a designer in my own business to a role where I would instead help others to design.

Today, I work as a Project Manager for Paper Giant – a strategic design and research consultancy in Melbourne. While this was certainly a big change for me, I have never forgotten that Cornish has instilled in me the importance of finding a way to use one’s skills to make the world a better place. Upon first reading their Mission Statement – to help organisations deliver better services and policy for a more equal and just society – I knew that I had discovered the right place for my next career step. I am fortunate to have the flexibility one day a week for personal and freelance projects, such as, volunteering as a graphic designer for animal sanctuary Edgar’s Mission and proudly sitting on the Cornish Collegians Management Committee.

If I were to offer one piece of advice to senior school students, it would be to take things step-by-step, because you have plenty of time! If you stay true to understanding what matters to you as an individual, and are prepared to put your best effort in, good things are sure to follow.