Vox Pop

With a new influx of undergraduates about to embark on design courses across the UK, what would you advise them to be aware of now in terms of their later professional development?

‘Don’t become a participant in a reality television like Private Stars (weekdays, 11pm on Bravo). Do collaborate and be open about your ideas, you’ll get ripped off a few times and that will piss you off, but you should end up with a supportive and stimulating set of friends who will sustain you creatively, professionally and emotionally throughout your career.’

Tom Roope, Creative director, Tomato

‘Transferable skills. Be true to yourself: only the best will get jobs as designers. Why not consider using the skills you will have acquired in the business arena? Brand managers that understand the design process are good for business and design. Start building those relationships now.’

Deborah Dawton, Chief executive, Design Business Association

‘Design is like life, the more you experience of it, the more fun you have. Always extend yourself, always over-deliver, always question and always develop yourself to your full potential. Take opportunities whenever they are there, never take yourself too seriously, balance passion with dedication and embrace everyone you meet. Don’t be seduced by technology and perfect the hand-drawn sketch…’

Gavin Thomson, Creative partner, Factory Design

‘Based on my own experience I’d say listen more, read more and absorb more, especially design and art history – the future is often in the past. No-one is going to spoon feed you. You have to make your own way in the creative jungle. Pursue your dream, it is within your grasp. You just have to believe and have passion, even in the darker moments.’

Mike Dempsey, Founding partner, CDT Design

‘The convergence of media channels has unleashed new ways to launch products, communicate and serve customers – demanding new competence. Few of tomorrow’s designers will focus their creative efforts in one media channel alone. They will need to work collaboratively on multi-faceted projects – touching design, technology, business and human understanding – applying creativity to whatever the channel, whatever the audience.’

Katherine Atkin, Partner, Circus

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