In a competitive recruitment environment, what can graduating designers do to stand out?
JB: We run a number of yearlong internship programmes across the business and often recruit from this pool of talented designers and engineers as we have a better understanding of what they can bring to our business.
Interns work on live projects and have full exposure to real client challenges. We like them to be involved from multiple angles so that we can really understand what gets them excited and ultimately allow them to be open to learning and to develop their natural creative flair.
What skills and qualities does your company look for in a new recruit?
JB: This can vary depending on the capability/service area we are looking to recruit in. However, we generally look for core creative thinking, a logical approach, someone who has a passion for understanding and researching people’s needs, wants and desires and is able to craft meaningful and purposeful experiences. Individuals need to be able to promote and sell their thought processes and ideas amongst peers and to clients. Being able to clearly communicate a narrative and rationale to their decision making process is therefore a must.
At the moment, what design courses are doing well? What might they do better?
JB: I absolutely believe in design courses containing some form of industrial experience within them. Exposing students to real life challenges, approaches and negotiations is important. Students rely too much on CAD when thinking and designing. Universities need to encourage more multidisciplinary collaborative thinking and sketching to work through initial ideas. The act of physical modelling and prototyping, whether it is a service, user interface or product, is also lacking from the graduates’ tool box of core skills. Hands on iterative development needs to be encouraged and harnessed.
Finally, if you had one piece of advice for a young designer, what would it be?
JB: Get out there and make contacts; networking is still key. There are so many design shows and analogue and networking events that expose young designers to valuable insights and connections.
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Posted by Jamie
English, but mainly Northern.
The last thing that inspired me: The super disposable non slip paper place mats on the train, it's always the small things!
My dream project: Designing, planning and building my own home.
My obsession: Books and cd's - tangible not virtual.