Carmen Gunkel started her career as an in-house graphic designer after graduating from the University of Pretoria with an Honours in Information Design. She was exposed to the many different areas within graphic design including project and production management, marketing and client liaising. She later joined Etiket Brand Design as an account executive. In 2013 she joined the Design School of Southern Africa Johannesburg as a graphic design lecturer.
She later became the programme manager for graphic design. She later completed a post-graduate diploma in higher education through the Independent Institute of Education (IIE). Her research project investigated the use of online assessment tools to encourage active student learning. She is currently the academic and business head for Sum of 21 Academy, a creative incubator for young creatives and advertising communicators.