The importance of industry work placements: Q&A

Student industry work placement

We recently had the pleasure of welcoming A-level student Hollie into our design studio for a week’s industry work placement. Hollie had no previous experience of a working design studio, but really enjoyed the media and creative aspects of her course choices at sixth form college. She wanted to understand more about how a graphic designer works and see a busy design studio environment for herself, in order to make more informed choices for university and a future career in design.

We’re passionate about inspiring young people to pursue a creative career, and have welcomed several students through our doors over the last few years. We thoroughly enjoyed working with Hollie and can’t wait to see her progress!

Here, Hollie talks about what she learned during her week’s industry placement in our studio.

What were you most looking forward to before your work placement?

I was particularly looking forward to experiencing advertising and marketing in a real workplace in comparison to just studying it in a subject. Equally, I was excited to see if this would be the sort of job I would want to go into. I knew the experience of actually being with people that do the career I would like to do in the future, would help me get further insight into the job and understand it more.

What were your first impressions of Michon?

I loved it! I immediately knew that it’s the sort of place I would like to work in the future – modern and trendy. Everyone was so friendly and made me feel so welcome right from the beginning. The atmosphere in the office is really comforting, there’s a really relaxed but hard-working feel about the office.

What type of work did you get to work on and how did you find the projects?

I was given briefs that Michon had worked on and completed in the past, for example rebranding a local physiotherapist. It was really exciting to be able to create my own brand and see it come to life visually, through making my own logo and brand name, to even turning them into shop windows and billboards. The briefs were really open which allowed me to be very creative and it was interesting to see the comparison between how I had rebranded the company, compared to what Michon actually created when given this brief. Although the work was independent and I came up with all my own ideas, everyone was really helpful if I ever got stuck when using different programs than I’m used to. I also got the opportunity to speak to different members of staff regarding their roles in the business, which did help me narrow down my own career aspirations.

What did you learn about the processes and structure of a working design agency?

After speaking to different people in the business, I learnt that there are a lot more different parts to the process than I thought and everyone plays a different part in completing something. Although everyone works together to help each other, each member of staff specialises is something different and are all working on their individual projects.

Did you learn any new techniques or hone any skills during your time at Michon?

I learnt how to use different programs than I was used to, such as Adobe In Design and Illustrator, as prior to this I was only really comfortable with using Photoshop, and although I could already use Photoshop briefly, my time at Michon helped me to develop my Photoshop skills and use different parts of the program that I hadn’t used before. Moving forward, I think these new skills I have learnt will really help me in my Media sixth form course and for when I continue on at university.

Do you have any thoughts on the importance of a work experience to decide your future career?

My work experience week has definitely helped me to decide a future career. I recently discovered my passion for advertising and marketing, and now I have done my work experience I am confident that this is the right career path for me to go down. I think work experience is really important to help you actually have a real experience of a work day in a real working environment. It’s especially helpful if you aren’t 100% sure as to what sort of job you want to go into. It can help you to realise things that you don’t like and the things you do like which can help you find your perfect university course or career. Being surrounded by people who actually do these careers every day is just as helpful in order to hear their opinions on the job and what their advice would be.