Award winning student Abbie has taken some time out to write about her internships and career plans for when she graduates in 2017.
3rd year BA (Hons) Textiles and Surface Design student, specialising in Surface Design.
Which companies did you complete your internships with, and what were your roles?
I interned with Dulux, Solomon & Wu, and Twinks Burnett.
I was luck enough to win the live brief set by Dulux for Bucks New University that led to an internship with the company. We were asked to produce a project using their Colour Futures Trend Palettes 2016. My work was selected as the winner due to my use of the palette ‘The Grid and Letting Go’ to create decorative, etched layered tiles.
I had a two week internship with the Colour and Design team at Dulux -AkzoNobel in June 2016. I learnt so much from my time there. I had one to one time with everyone on the team who showed me about their job roles, including the two different sides in retail and trade. I joined colour trend meetings and colour naming sessions. We also went to design fairs in London and I produced colour trend reports to be fed back to the teams.
I also interned for Solomon & Wu during my summer helping with the making of commercial poured resin panels. I also got to experiment with making possible new samples which provided me with a lot of knowledge of the material and how to finish a product to the highest possible standard. Solomon & Wu taught me a lot about timescale and the reality of making a product and also producing something to the highest possible standard it can be.
I got the internship at Solomon & Wu based on a recommendation from my tutor Jim Biddulph. I got in contact and went for an interview with some of my work.
During the same summer I also managed to work for Twinks Burnett, a fashion stylist, creative director and headwear maker based in London. I gained so much from Twinks, a truly inspiring and colourful person who I will never forget!
During my time with Twinks I helped with shoots and making finished designs for her own couture head piece business to be sold online and at festivals. Twinks showed me what it’s like to be a freelance designer, and how hard work and commitment to what you love doing is what should drive you, and also that is is about having fun and meeting so many new people along the way.
Jane Bowler recommended an internship with Twinks Burnett after my live project for Jane, saying I would enjoy my time with her . Jane also kindly put in a good word for me. I emailed and called Twinks and met up with her the following week.
Please tell us about the skills and career plans your internships helped develop.
Upon reflection after my experience with the Colour and Design team at Dulux I gained great knowledge in how a big company works and runs and what it would be like to work for one. I also gained a lot of knowledge of what the colour and design team do in Dulux retail and trade from how they colour arrange, name and create palettes and material to help enhance a space with colour.
The experience has made me more inspired to look more into colour theory and colour trends. I have always been interested in the world of light and colour and Dulux taught me how important it is in a space and how it effects everything in design.
What advice would you give to a student who is about to undertake an internship?
I’d advise any student to get as much experience as possible, the more the better! You will learn what you want to take forward and what you don’t in your own career.
Also to enjoy it! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be worried to try something new.
Also, make sure you research the company/brand you are or want to intern for!
What further career opportunities are you seeking?
I am currently researching and sampling for my final collection, my work is based around the phenomenon and theory of light and colour producing prints and designs for materials and surfaces. I have many interests but the main context for my work would be for visual merchandising or set design. I also have a passion for interior design for homes and commercial spaces.
A message of thanks.
I would like to say a massive thank you to the colour and design team at Dulux who made me feel so welcome and taught me so much about what they do.
Also to Solomon & Wu for teaching me a huge amount about the extremely high quality of their products, and the knowledge I gained from experimenting with their materials.
And Twinks for truly inspiring a whole new world for me of colour, design and creative expression.
Thank you so much for this article Abbie!
This image below is from Abbie’s winning entry in the Bradford Textiles Society Award.
- Recruiting our Students and Graduates
- BA (Hons) Textiles and Surface Design
- Bucks Students Internship Experience Form
- A guide for students – using this blog