Interactive Design Institute
For Alistair, his placement job as an interactive designer took him into a world of online learning where he had to get up to speed on some challenging new skills too.
What's your background?
After four years at Edinburgh Napier studying for a BSc in Interactive Media Design, I switched to an integrated Masters for my fifth year. I studied a variety of subjects, including web design, film and media and sound production. Ultimately, I decided to specialise in User Experience and emerging technologies.
Why did you apply?
After applying for a number of jobs during my final few months at University, the programme offered me with the chance to search for relevant graduate placements available locally. The extra support and help on offer throughout my first year of work also appealed.
What project were you involved in?
The main one was to support the web team through the development of a brand new, online learning platform. The company delivers online degrees, using a Joomla-based learning environment. I had no experience of this, before starting the placement. This presented a number of challenges: learning a completely new technology and helping to develop for it.
What did you learn on placement?
I picked up a number of new technical skills including development for Joomla based platforms, a more rounded web development skills portfolio and great hands-on management and delegation skills.
I went to monthly staff development sessions at an event called 'Joomla Breakfast'. There, one of the external developers working with my company, presented some key Joomla features and live tutorials. This was my opportunity to get some excellent hands-on experience with the software platform. I could also ask an experienced professional about anything I was unsure of.
Any advice for other graduates?
Be as open as possible, and available to tackle any opportunity that comes your way. Be prepared to adapt your skills to suit new and exciting challenges, and definitely look into working for local businesses through schemes like this. It's an excellent opportunity to make the Graduate Placement role your own, and develop additional skills that will assist you in the future.