When I think about my work now, I always think of my first year at uni and the work I produced for the first time. Some aspects of it hadn't changed all that much and some have changed drastically. But in the end, you can still tell it's my work. No one else would have executed those projects the same way, because they have their own methods of communication. It's like how everyone has different ways of speaking; different mannerisms and different vocabularies. As much as I believe ideas are a huge part of design outcomes, it's also the method/ style in which we execute them in. And of course, if you've been designing for a while, then you will have sophisticated your vocabulary and will create really nicely finished projects.
This is why I feel strongly about people sticking to their guns. Being told to "look at what others are producing and try do the same", doesn't help! We should be encouraged to hone our own style and become confident in doing so. Skills come naturally, the more you get comfortable with yourself and your methods of communication. There is a place within design for everyone, it's just a matter of finding yours and being confident in doing so.
I may have only just graduated this year, but I am very confident and happy with the work I have produced, because I stuck to my guns. It's sad to see others discouraged by design, because they fell short in the pecking order but as long as they continue to enjoy design and have self determination to better themselves, there's no need to care about the pecking order. Just go out and look for that place with your name on it.