Course: BA (Hons) Product Design
Current location: London
“Your lecturers are there for you whenever you need them, and they will sit and go through everything a thousand times if they need to in order to make sure you get the most out of your time there. Plymouth University is hands down the best place to which anyone could ever go.”Tell us about your career path since graduation.
I’m now in my second full time job since graduating, and this job is more in line with the degree I studied. My first job at Gandys Flip Flops taught me the basic skills required to be able to survive in the working world; with it being a start up at the time I joined, I took on a lot of jobs to gain the experience I would need to move onto something bigger and better. Having left my old position, I now work for a globally recognised luxury online fashion retailer, Net-A-Porter. By studying and working full time for two years during my first position, it has all paid off for me as I was able to work for an incredible brand.
What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?
I think one of the hardest things was obviously working full time and studying full time for two years, which was quite draining; but in the end, I made it through to the other side stronger. But one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do is to make the decision to leave my job and move on, as you build such good relationships and bonds with a role you’ve held for so long and it kind of becomes a part of you. So, making a decision to leave and explore the unknown is a lot more difficult than you would imagine.
What, if anything, would you do differently if you could?
If I’m honest, and had the chance to go back and do things differently, I would never have accepted my first job whilst I was studying. Although I gained so much experience, there were too many negatives compared to the positives. When you’re already drained and tired from working a full time job as well as studying for a university degree, the extra stress from office politics really plays on your mind. Having little experience of the working world, you think it’s normal to be unhappy in a job, but until you gain the courage to leave and try something new you don’t realise how a company should really be run.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?
My advice to anyone wanting to get into the same line of work as me would be to make sure you have a backbone; the working world isn’t an easy place to be in, so being able to stand on your own two feet is invaluable. I would advise you to stay in university and finish the three years full time; your lecturers have been there and know what they are talking about so listening to them as this will prepare you for what you can expect. If you can get into a bigger company for your first job, I would advise you to do so; this way, you are able to see how the relationship between staff and employers should be and what kind of work load you can expect for the wage you are on.
How did studying at Plymouth help you?
I was lucky enough to have some phenomenal lecturers to guide me and be there for me if I ever had any questions or concerns. They made me fully aware of what to expect and how to deal with certain situations and gave me invaluable working skills to be able to work in the design industry. They have fantastic knowledge of the working world and incorporated that in their teaching, and with visits to some of their old workplaces we were able to get a feel for what was in store for us.
Would you recommend undertaking a course with University of Plymouth, and why?
Honestly, I couldn’t think of a better place for someone to go and start their independent life. The University is fantastic and has everything you could dream of to help you get through your degree. Everyone who works there is genuine and truly cares about where you end up. Your lecturers are there for you whenever you need them, and they will sit and go through everything a thousand times if they need to in order to make sure you get the most out of your time there. University of Plymouth is hands down the best place to which anyone could ever go.
Inspired by this story?
Product designer is one of three specialist pathways available as part of BA (Hons) 3D Design, alongside design maker and spatial and interior designer. For more information about our range of courses within the School of Art, Design and Architecture, visit the school page.
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