- ABOUT US _ Drive is an Automotive Design Consultancy building long term relationships with design-driven companies worldwide, designing products that enhance their brand's DNA and position in the market place.
The interesting thing about industry night at Coventry Automotive Degree Show 2014, is the difficulty one has to get a chance to look at and then discuss projects with the designers, with so many other people using the event as a meeting point. All the designers on show, are trying to stand out with some new approach, material, shape, or simply doing a very accomplished design proposal, but without promoting oneself you can be missed.
From a graduate’s perspective the degree show is an opportunity, and pushing forward and instigating conversation to industry people is a must. When they make that opportunity, although their description of the project is interesting, more often than not it is their own story that is intriguing and gives a true representation of the person, so important when it comes to making employment or recommendation decisions.
As a case study of doing this well, here is a good example.
I was just getting into see the last room as everyone seemed to be heading out to the old ‘Browns’ for a drink. I was tapped on the shoulder, ‘Hi, its Chris isn’t it? We’ve met before when you did a presentation at Northumbria University two years ago.’ Hayley Chalmers introduced herself, and I did remember her, because after my presentation she waited to say Hello, and followed up two days later with a LinkedIn connect request. Now graduating, she explained why she decided a change to the Coventry Automotive Design Course would give, what she felt, were the best opportunities in her chosen field. Leaving the relative comfort zone of 3 years at Northumbria, and dropping into the highly competitive and acknowledged leading automotive undergraduate degree course in Britain, takes a clear understanding of where you want to go, how you are going to get there, determination and dedication. It clearly accelerated her skills, knowledge and access to industry people to learn from. A quick résumé of her work experience and an overview of her project; and the final question ‘are there currently any design positions at Drive?’ showed a very consistent and professional approach over 21/2 years.
Hayley was not the only one to engage and stand out, Luke Robus ‘that person who draws weird things’, Mohammed Hassen ‘hey not so fast!’ and Jack Watson, among others, were happy to approach people and have a conversation.
Discussions about which designer, got what help with their model or animation, always stir up a debate. There is no definitive answer as to whether someone who does it all themselves, merits a higher grade or is a better equipped designer for a design studio, than one who has managed to plan/persuade someone else to do certain aspects of their project. But how people deal with the situation says a lot.
Take Aleck Jones, clearly mad about motorcycles, having seen the mad rush and limited rapid prototype machine time available in previous years, and the expense to use a bureau, decided to buy a kit and build his own rapid prototype machine, improve it and then use it to manufacture his final model with it. That’s initiative.
So when you think the hard part of your course is over and you managed to get the model done just in time for the show, even if it didn’t go smoothly and the paint is still wet, don’t relax just yet, make the most of your degree show, and promote yourself.