How do I get into it?
In such a relatively small and competitive industry, personal reputation and recommendations from previous employers are invaluable. Having a good portfolio is important in promoting yourself and demonstrating your capabilities to potential employers.
A graduate careers website information on:
Includes a range of job profiles for design specialisms, with vacancy sources, tips on routes into the industry and more.
What can I do with my degree?
Career options directly and indirectly linked to your degree.
BA (Hons) Three Dimensional Design (2009)
I studied BA (Hons) Three Dimensional Design at the University of Brighton, and began an internship with product and lighting design agency Haberdashery London in 2010.
With the help of the University of Brighton internship, I was able to undertake a six week placement with Haberdashery design studio in London. Subsequently I was asked to carry on as a freelance designer, and at the start of 2012 that turned into full-time employment.
BSc (Hons) Product Design (2007)
I graduated from Brighton in 2007 with a BSc (Hons) in Product Design. Since graduating I have become a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associate.
In my case the ‘partnership’ is between the Centre for Research in Innovation Management (CENTRIM) and Fire Testing Technology (FTT), a manufacturer of scientific Instrumentation based in East Grinstead, West Sussex.
I successfully applied for my KTP associate role in October 2007. The application process was quite stringent. It included two Interviews by a panel of members of both the University of Brighton and the company. I had to prepare presentations on my proposals for how I would tackle the project.
FTT specialises in the design, production, supply and service of a range of reaction-to-fire testing instrumentation. The instruments are used by government and private test houses to test construction materials to a wide range of regulatory standards in reaction-to-fire properties. These instruments are sold and used all over the world.
The project focus is to find new products in markets diverse from their core business. The project has many challenges, to analyse the core and threshold skills and competencies of FTT and find and exploit technology transfer channels and build a business case for new products as well as manage the product development process.
I am learning many aspects of innovation management; project management, people management, business practice (both operations and finance), marketing and new product development.
The KTP scheme is not widely publicised or lauded but it should be! As a first role, post graduation from a technical field I cannot imagine a better start. As well as getting learning support and input from the University and company, A Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Level 5 Diploma is part of the package as well as a budget for ongoing professional development training. The projects that KTP associates get involved in are many and varied.
It can be tough sometimes managing conflicts between academic and commercial expectations of the project but that’s part of the job.