Product Design Student with technical skill set


I have made this post as I am looking for advice on which route to take over the next few years.

My current situation:

I have completed two years of Product Design and Manufacture (BEng) at Nottingham University and I am coming to the end of my year long industrial placement at Rolls Royce, my projects are improving manufacturing processes and project lead for developing new a measurement technology.

The first year of the university course involved a lot of engineering modules with little design work.
The second year was focussed on teaching design skills through projects with modules in manufacture.
Through my placement I have continued to work on several projects in my spare time.

With this in consideration, I am will be beginning my final year and looking beyond graduation at jobs and maybe additional courses.

My skill set is naturally bias towards a technical stance, but I have worked hard on my creative side; sketching, renderings etc but I feel it is not up to the required standard for industry.

Whats the best way forward? Look at MA/MSci’s? Apply for jobs anyway? Is an internship with an Aerospace company worth anything or respected at all in the Industrial Design world?

Thanks in advance


I wouldn’t do any job just for the “respect of the ID world”. Man, if you like Aerospace stuff, DO IT. I think that’s effing awesome. I’d love to work at Lockheed or NASA. If you don’t enjoy it, then don’t do it for “respect”. Sounds like you’ve got a lot of engineering + design experience, which definitely sounds like a match to Aerospace. If that’s something you’re really interested in, and can already start in the industry, I don’t see why you wouldn’t just start working instead of getting an MA. You can work yourself up through the industry, regardless of having a MA or not.

Show some sketches/renderings.

What do you really want to do?

If it’s to work on cool vehicles and not be the guy worrying about the appearance, branding, and aesthetics… you should take the aeronautical job on your engineering credentials alone. You’ll surely get a chance to tackle creative challenges, they just might not be aesthetically focused. You’ll probably be paid a lot better from the start as well

If you want to be the guy setting the style and appearance of the products, it’s not going to be as easy as the engineering route. You may need to go back to school to be competitive on a creative level or work at it on your own, but if you make it and get a true ID job, the manufacturing background will eventually be an asset. You could try for design jobs with what you have and see it anything happens; some guys post their work on here for review. it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll struggle more to do ID, but it makes the reward that much sweeter…

internships can sometimes set the tone of entire careers so you might as well focus on what you really want

Are you thinking of staying in the UK after graduation? If so, definitely focus on the engineering side of things.

But the other thing is, do you like engineering? If you feel that you’ve been pushed into it by your environment/media/whatever other factor :wink:, then concentrate on what you want to do first. However, as you’ve got an internship at Rolls Royce, you must surely be interested in that area, am I right?

The best way to work on styling, etc, is to collaborate with someone who can do it really well, do a few models, exhibit at a few places, and then you’ll learn tonnes from it. You can learn styling from one person who is really good at it. The trick is to find him/her.

Thanks for your replies. I took the internship because the opportunity for an interview arose and luckily got the placement, but as to if I like it, I guess I enjoy the challenge and its certainly an incredibly interesting area.

I guess this is the main point I’m worried about, will employers get as far as reading about my internship and discard my CV/portfolio? I’m certainly aware ID is going to be much harder, but I ID remains as my focus for a career.