Helping design students into industry – the Enterprise Collective

Being a designer or an artist has never been a straightforward choice and these days it’s no different, especially as the economy is stretching most pockets to their ultimate testing points.  At the Enterprise Collective, part of the University of the Arts London, we recognise this and aim to help things along for the aspiring creative by finding a place for those design and artistic skills in the world beyond education.

Elizabeth Cameron
Elizabeth Cameron

Everyone needs to make a living and most people do this by trading their skills and knowledge for a salary, but for a designer or artist this exchange mechanism isn’t as clear-cut as it is for say a lawyer: for a designer, even the most simple pieces of work can belay significant amounts of development time.

By operating as a conduit between industry and our Colleges (we work across Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges), the Enterprise Collective helps to enhance the education process by bringing together both parts of the equation – industry and new designers and artists, and creating opportunities for each to grow and develop.  We provide direct support for students in capitalising on their specialism effectively by helping them to connect directly to industry through sponsored student projects, competitions and internships.  In return we develop clients’ understanding of the value of actively seeking the creative approach to meet their business needs. By providing structured and knowledgeable access to a pool of original talent, the Enterprise Collective aims to see design and art genuinely embedded into the fabric of society and consequently our students thriving in their life after college.

Students can benefit from working on all types of projects while they are at Camberwell, Chelsea or Wimbledon and from working with all manner of clients, so we don’t like to turn away opportunity because we never know where it might lead. To learn how to interpret a brief and understand a clients’ needs, to meet deadlines, to work to a budget, to present them selves professionally, to organise and to think concepts through from start to finish which can be effectively communicated, are all essential for post-graduation life.  However it is when a client’s expectations are exceeded by project work which goes above and beyond the original brief that the value of a creative input really shines. 

‘Working with design students highlighted new possibilities for products and markets that we had yet to find in spite of trading in pewter products for over 60 years’– Richard Abdy, managing director of Wentworth Pewter, a recent partner of Camberwell College of Arts for a student industry project.

Elizabeth Cameron is a business relationship manager for the Enterprise Collective which operates across Camberwell,  Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges as part of the University of the Arts London.

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