My story

Graphic Designer, Marketer, Illustrator, Who am I After All?

What do you want to be when you grow up? A fashion designer (Roberta, 7 years old)

What do you want to be when you grow up? A painter (Roberta, 14 years old)

What do you want to be when you grow up? A graphic designer (Roberta, 19 years old)

Well, this is all history at this point! I was always sure of what I wanted to be since an early age, however, after a couple of years working as a graphic designer in Portugal, I was derailed into a completely different career path.

I’ve worked in Business Operations and Project Management roles for around 7 years and spend my days looking at spreadsheets, forecasting revenue, and delivering projects… you might be wondering: how did I transition back to a graphic designer?

Well…I did not need to transition, because I was always a graphic designer, I was just not being paid to be one!

I’ve worked on fake briefs, I’ve done work for family, friends, the school PTA and charity and on my full-time job I did the prettiest Powerpoints you can ever imagine.

“I truly believe that we can be more than one thing and that is who I am. The skills I’ve gained from both careers are a great combination that makes me the professional I am today.”


I’ve started studying Arts when I was in High-school, followed by a 5-year college degree in Graphic Design. Worked in Agencies for a few years but when found myself unemployed I’ve decided to take an office admin temporary job covering for maternity leave. It was supposed to last 6 months…but I ended up staying a little longer.

In November 2013 a phone call and a few rounds of interviews brought my husband to a job in Dublin. We were living in Portugal, both of us had jobs and we just had a 5-month-old baby. So when my husband asked me:

Do you want to move to Ireland? Sure, why not (Roberta, 30 years old)


Yes, that’s who I am, adventurous and fearless of new adventures, we packed our bags and we landed in Dublin in January 2013 full of hopes and dreams.

Finding a job was quite easy, not as a designer though …at this point, I have no updated portfolio, no connections and not much experience, so my best bet was to follow the business operations route and build my career path on that direction.

Many times I found myself hiding my dreams and my aspirations.

If in a job interview someone asked me:

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? I want to develop myself as a people manager, I want to work as a graphic designer, study digital marketing and work on a creative department or as a freelancer, (Roberta 35 years old)

And that went on and on until I decided that if I wanted to go back to design, I needed to start doing something, not only dreaming or wishing.


In January 2020 I was awarded a Special Purpose Award in Digital Marketing, by the Cork Institute of Technology and shortly after I decided to become a graphic designer and digital marketer freelance.

My only regret was not starting earlier. This was definitely a big change in my life, but it was only for the best.

I wake up every day with a smile on my face because I absolutely love what I do.

So if you ask me today:

What do I want to be when I grow up? I would say:

I want to follow my dreams (Roberta, 38 years old)

Roberta x

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