In June 2015 Hillside Product Design Limited, based in Teignmouth, Devon, took on an undergraduate Product Design student from Bournemouth University for a year-long placement to provide ‘real life’ work experience and on-the-job training and tutoring.
We are now nearing the end of our student’s placement year and it has been remarkably beneficial for both us as a business and the student, Tom Alway. In fact, it has been such a success that we have now taken on another placement student for the next twelve months!
Passing on the experience
All our staff are graduates so we understand that universities often give a great introduction to the principles of product design and help students get up to a good level in their technical ability but one thing the university can’t give is first-hand industry experience. This experience allows them to accelerate their learning and perform to industry standard which they can then take forward to their final year of university and the rest of their career. Hillside Product Design also benefits from the energy, enthusiasm and new ideas a student brings into the business.
“Experienced designers need to pass on their knowledge and skills to the new designers entering the profession” said Chris Howsam, Managing Director. Chris continued, “You should not put an old head on young shoulders but you can share an enormous amount of experience to accelerate their progress.”
Here’s what Tom says of his time with Hillside Product Design: “I am very grateful for the time I have had here. It has been an incredible learning experience which has developed my design skill-set and understanding of technical principles hugely. From the first day here I felt like a proper member of the team and have been heavily involved in a range of really exciting projects. I was lucky enough to be taken to a visit to an injection moulding factory which really opened my eyes to the process as I could physically see how it was working and put it all into context. I have also been very lucky in the sense that my placement with Hillside Product Design is extremely relevant to the modules I have taken at university which has really reinforced what I have learnt in the past and stands me in good stead when I return to university for my final year.”
“As well as being a great place to learn and develop, Hillside is a great place to be, the support from all members of the team is immense. They have always made me feel welcome; everyone has a great sense of humour and everyone is always willing to help each other.”
We have been so pleased with Tom that we have invited him back to work for us on completion of his degree. Chris Howsam concludes by saying, “We are all looking forward to the next twelve months as we repeat the placement for 2016/2017 with Quy Te who is also a Product Design student from Bournemouth University.”
“I am extremely excited to start my placement this July with a team who care deeply about people and the way design is executed. I have only visited twice, yet feel so welcomed and encouraged. I will look forward to getting hands on experience and learning from design professionals.” said Quy.
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