Undoubtedly some of those reading this will have clocked up a few years’ design experience, but what’s it like for those starting out on a career in the industry? Who better to ask than our resident undergraduate Graphic Design student, the fantastic Gabe!
Gabe is currently a few weeks into a six-month placement from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston where he’s studying for a BA(Hons) in Graphic Design. The course is renowned as one of the most established and successful of its kind in the country. For more than 40 years it has consistently stood for excellence in design and is recognised for its relevance to industry and employability. Each year its students are successful in winning prestigious national and international awards such as D&AD, Roses, Little Chip, RSA and YCN, to name a few.
We began by asking Gabe:
Why do you think a placement is so important?
“I think having the opportunity to do a placement within the course helps massively. Having spoken to some of the 3rd years from my course, who’ve come back from placement, many have said that it gave them valuable insights into the design industry. They’ve had the chance to get hands-on experience, learning about different processes and working with a variety of people.”
What are you hoping to gain from the experience?
“I’m hoping to learn to think more creatively, to generate ideas more often and to see how projects progress from start to finish. I also want to learn the ins and outs of software such as InDesign, to help me craft ideas better.
“There’s plenty I want to learn but It’d take too long to list them all!”
How have the first few weeks on placement been?
“The first few weeks have been fantastic! The new building [at Forepoint’s Preston office, Momentum Place] is great and everyone’s been very helpful; giving me advice, tips and shortcuts on how to use software and navigate around the computers.
“(I’ve also learnt that Simon is quite good at pool and that Dave is… so and so on it…).”
What’s the team like to work with?
“Everyone gets along really well, it feels like one big family, I could tell everyone was closely knit during my first week. There’s great communication, and even though I’ve only been in a few meetings (so far), the way everyone bounces ideas of one another is a really cool.”
What are you hoping to achieve as a designer?
“That’s a really tough question… Firstly, I want to graduate. The next priority will be to get a job. I’d then like to become the kind of designer who can make others smile or laugh through my work (in a good way of course!). It’d be great to work closely with some fantastic clients and to see the work I produce for them having a positive impact. I obviously plan to remain highly creative, coming up with some really good ideas, the course in Preston really promotes this. As for anything else, I’m pretty stumped right now!”
If the first few weeks are anything to go by, we’re confident that Gabe has a rosy future in the design industry. His hard work, commitment and enthusiasm should take him far.
The opportunity to place students, like Gabe, not only benefit the students themselves, but the team as a whole – proving that there’s truth in the old adage: you really can sometimes teach some relatively old dogs, or ‘the more experienced individuals’ (as we prefer to call them), some new tricks!
Good luck Gabe! We’ll catch up with you in a few months time – before you head back to university to gain that first class honours degree!