My work placement at Rob Ryan studio
How do you think taking on this work placement has helped you in your course studies?
I had the great opportunity to go on a placement which wasn’t in the field of textiles and was more geared around illustration. Having the chance to explore a different subject means that I can now bring the processes and the different ways of working into my course, allowing me to develop my own unique textiles practice.
The placement gave me a great appreciation of the creative control I have at university. I enjoyed the freedom of being able to experiment whilst learning. There are times that I place too much pressure on myself to be creating work that is going to get me a successful job once I graduate. While I believe it’s good to focus on your end result at university, you should appreciate that your time at university will be a unique and valuable time to play, and discover who you are as a designer or artist too.
How did your course prepare you for your work placement?
Having completed some collaborative projects whilst at university meant I was able to step into a team comfortably. Knowing how to work with different people and their skillsets is such a key skill to learn for university and the workplace.
"The fact that the placement is worked into the year shows that the tutors know that industry experience is key and the more of it you can get the better, so they support you throughout"
What was the most challenging part of the work placement?
Getting on a rush hour tube every morning! I will not miss that! I also found it quite difficult to step back into university once coming back off placement, I felt a little behind. However, the fact that the placement is worked into the year shows that the tutors know that industry experience is key, and the more of it you can get the better, so they support you throughout.
What did you enjoy most about your work placement?
It was great to become part of a professional creative team, even only for a few weeks. I was welcomed in and trusted with tasks and allowed to give ideas and ask questions. It is such a great way to create strong links within your chosen industry by just being willing to muck in, whether that was with helping create new designs or just getting to know the team over lunch and a game of cards!
If you could give another student advice for taking on a work placement, what would it be?
As cheesy as it sounds…aim as high as you can! It is such a great opportunity to gain experience with a company or work for an artist you really admire. You never know what may happen, great placement opportunities will come when you take a risk and put yourself out there. Also start looking early, some companies are slower to get back to you, but if you’re persistent something good will come!