A placement at a small company meant that Interior Design graduate Sheona Lockhart picked up a wide range of experience and got a close-up view of how real business operated. She explains how.
What’s your background?
I’m from Glasgow and studied a B.A. (Hons.) at the Edinburgh College of Art in Interior Design. I’ve supported my studies with design/architectural placements and nominations in various design competitions.
Why did you apply for the graduate placement programme?
The sector of business I wished to work in has been severely affected by the recession. So, new employees are rarely hired, and usually have numerous years’ experience. A placement meant that I could gain experience in a company relevant to my discipline, and learn more about the nature of business.
How have you benefited from the programme?
By being part of a small company, I had responsibility for many areas. These included developing and maintaining two websites, creating a subsidiary company, managing and implementing a marketing budget, and starting a new interior design division which I will help run.
I have been extremely lucky to be included in many trips, meetings and networking opportunities which I feel will stand me in good stead throughout my career. I’m constantly learning valuable information and skills from the Managing Director of the company.
Any advice to other graduates?
Consider jobs specifically aimed at graduates and look through university websites, as these jobs may offer more responsibility and an increased chance of being chosen. I called my university to ask for help, other institutions may still help after graduating.
Keep applying, even if it is out with the area you wish to work in – a job may adjust to your skills and it will be good experience. Also, make as many contacts as you can, as you never know who may be able to help you.