Design Students' Work Experience
A Level Art & Design Students Ethan Taylor and Anton Caines (Year 13) both undertook work expereince during the summer holidays - read about their experiences and how it has impacted on them:
I worked at Fine Décor Wall Coverings in Holmes Chapel, my dad works at the same company and he managed to get me an interview with the design director for the position of design assistant. I was on work experience from 11th of July – 2nd of September so almost all of the summer holidays.
I did some menial task such as making drinks and guillotining! However I had the chance to design my own wallpaper, also I went into the proofing room and tried both screen printing and gravure printing. I now know what it takes to become a designer, also I now know more about the wallpaper industry from my visit.
I want a career in design, and this experience is invaluable when put onto a CV because it shows that I have coped on the job and obviously enjoyed it because I want to pursue it for my career. My next steps are to get good results in my A-Levels then I am going to try to get a higher apprenticeship in design or graphic design.
One insight I gained from my work experience is to make sure you have a good portfolio of work that shows your potential of what you can do, also you need to make sure it is clean and professional, this will get you a long way in an interview.
My work experience was based at a local design studio called Apparel Studio who designed graphic merchandise prints with the use of state of the art screen printing equipment in order to get the best quality and satisfied customers. I managed to get the work placement through a friend who owns the Sandbach roofing company who is related to Mike (the main designer) at Apparel Studio. I then emailed him and he was more than happy for me to come and experience what it's like as a designer within fashion.
I was only there for a week in July but since then I have participated in finding clients and the beginning of my own brand – ALEC.
Working at Apparel Studio there gave me a real insight into all aspects of the business and inspired me to further a career in design for the future. I was introduced to the processes of designing graphic prints as well as the business side of production. This included: the processes of screen printing and use of software in the workshop, an introduction to the financial management of the business, techniques of entrepreneurialism surrounding social media marketing and other techniques of selling a product such as fitting the specific requirements of consumers and enabling the product to look professional with the use of graphic design combined with fashion. The work experience also included the making tea and coffee for all the staff which was a great experience!
The experience completely changed my mindset on what I wanted to achieve for the future as I didn't have an idea of what I wanted to do or what was the next step after Sixth form. Doing this experience really helped me discover my passion for design and I began developing goals and pathways towards the future which I never thought I would. I feel having these goals/visions of having my own sports brand in the future pushes me to work harder to achieve it.
As the experience has benefited me so much it allows me to be more passionate, to keep working hard and to really appreciate the opportunities that come in life because before I did the work experience I just wanted to do architecture at university, as it was such a high-end job; financially and statistically and sometimes it’s not always about the biggest money or studying the best career it’s all about passion and the mind set of doing what suits you best. It’s always beneficial to discover something that you would loving doing rather than disliking it in the future.
The next step of planning my career as a designer, is getting the most experiences as possible in order for it to be successful. Right now I am undergoing online entrepreneurialism courses and business, enabling me to take risks and to be more confident in myself and the brand. Going to university to further study the course is probably the next best step so I can expand my knowledge and realise the world of work.
Again just to end it, it’s all about seeing the world through your own creative prism, experience all aspects of life in a three dimensional view instead of developing goals and interest from the best statistical jobs or the ones with the most money or being inspired by the wrong crowd of people who wish to have the best in life but not want to because they don’t believe. For me I want to learn the science and the nature of the course but also pay attention to the media and society of design which will enhance my thinking for the future and for the world of business. I aspire to compete with the top brands in the future with my own brand which I've been working on throughout this year. I don't just want to be a regular brand which produces generic garments and merchandise. I want to be the future of design. Developing new technology through my own creativity prism and having the passion to succeed for the future. This is where I could combine the graphic with sportswear design by actually creating the garments realising other opportunities that are available. Having the right design skills and innovative thinking will enable me push towards my goals. It’s all about believing in yourself to achieve your goals.