At 14 years old, Ross Pike began gearing his studies, and part-time work at a bespoke kitchen design company, towards working in the design industry. He now works as a Design Manager at leading bespoke exhibition stand designer, Quadrant2Design.
Ross says: “My industrial design degree provided me with a huge range of technical skills that are crucial in any design role, but particularly where I work at Quadrant2Design. My role includes concept design and rendering, along with technical drawing for production and graphic design.
“Industrial Design is great for creative designers who want to develop skills which are very applicable to industry. Because BU is very industry focused, most students leave with a clear career goal in mind and how they want to get there.”
Spending his placement year working with Disney, Ross gained the valuable opportunity to apply a number of technical skills in industry, before graduating from BU: “Aside from technical skills, my degree taught me how to communicate complex ideas, concepts and designs in a logical and professional manner. I use these skills on a daily basis working with clients who don’t necessarily have a technical background.”
Ross’ career began while still a student at BU after exhibiting some of his design works to employers and industry professionals at BU’s Festival of Design & Technology. He said: “After talking to the directors for a short time, I was offered an interview at Quadrant2Design the following week. I knew it was the right job for me, as it was obvious that the company was very design focused and the role would allow me to use a wide variety of my skills.”
And it would seem he is not alone, with roughly half of the Quadrant2Design team comprising either BU graduates or BU placement students: “It’s really beneficial to the company. I come back to the Festival of Design & Technology each year to see what the students are producing, and if we have a vacancy, I’m looking for good candidates.”
After working with the company for a year, Ross was promoted to Design Manager, where he was tasked with overseeing a design team of seven, as well as driving the companies’ design direction.
Ross adds that the importance of being able to express ideas and present to others is paramount: "You might have the best idea in the world but it’s no good if you can’t tell people about it. Looking back, BU’s design course continually challenges and pushes you to improve and find answers as individuals and as a group. This creates a real camaraderie, rather than competition, between classmates.”
“Put the work in early and make sure you secure the best possible placement for your third year, and then apply what you learn on placement in your final year.”