Photoshop, first aid and a cup of coffee: Upskill week

TCDSU organised Upskill week as an opportunity for students to gain skills and increase their chances of employment

This week was Upskill Week in Trinity. Organised by Trinity College Students Union, there have been an array of workshops, classes and training sessions hosted by various societies and individuals across campus. From barista and service training to First Aid classes and a CV skills workshop, the programme aimed to provide students with the opportunity to develop some key skills to improve employability. Many students seek part-time employment during their studies, yet without previous experience or training, this can be increasingly hard to secure. Upskill Week is a brilliant excuse not only to take a break from the onslaught of back-to-term blues and vaguely looming deadlines but also to learn something new without breaking the bank.

On Wednesday, as part of Upskill Week, Trinity Publications hosted a Photoshop class. Photoshop is a programme that can appear pretty daunting, and with the world of online media and graphic design expanding at a rapid rate, it’s a great skill to have in terms of employability. The workshop was led by the National College of Art and Design student, Grace O’ Brien and offered the perfect introduction to the basics of using Photoshop. O’Brien guided the class through the mechanics that go into designing a poster and emphasised that, while she is studying graphic design with the aim of securing a job in that area, Photoshop is not for professionals alone. It’s a great tool for editing pictures for personal use, designing a cover photo for a Facebook event, or even making up fresh homemade memes.

The workshop lasted an hour, during which O’Brien took everyone step-by-step along with her as she created a poster, encouraging those in attendance to create their own as she went along. We were provided with a few stock photos which we could include, one of which was a photo of Raymond from the American sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. Her final product was a simple – yet arguably visually and conceptually stunning – photo of the character of Raymond with a hotdog. The atmosphere was totally relaxed, with some people choosing to follow O’Brien’s tutorial without the pressure of having to create their own image.

On Friday, there was barista training in the Buttery and First Aid training. The classes sold out quickly with both classes charging a small fee, tickets for barista training costing €5 and First Aid training costing €15. Upskill week has been a fantastic idea, one which TCDSU will hopefully continue to build upon in order to aid students with their search for employment and the development of general life skills, aside from the ability to cram, procrastinate, and drink copious amounts of coffee.