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Alumni

Richard Brownlie-Marshall

Career Path: Lead Designer, Mindful Chef
Location: London, UK

I found my love for the creative in high school, spending most of my time between Art and Graphic Communication. I, of course, had a strong affinity for my hometown of Edinburgh but wanted to take the opportunity to discover somewhere new for my studies and Newcastle was number one on my list. I knew Northumbria Design School from its long list of successful alumni, so paired with its great location, I didn't want to be anywhere else.

What are you doing now?Ba Hons Design For Industry Alumni Richard Brownlie Marshall 255

Since graduating from Northumbria, I’ve worked with a wide range of brands and clients around the world, from Pret A Manger to The Archbishop of Canterbury. In 2011 I launched my eponymous design range, which continues to create design-centric products for everyday life. I'm currently the Lead Designer at Mindful Chef, working on campaigns, packaging, digital and new concept development.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

The course gave an insight into several areas of design, which would benefit me in taking on new challenges and firsts in my career. Having those points of reference gave me the confidence to tackle new areas of design and apply my skills in different industries.

What was the best thing about your course?

I really liked that internships were incorporated into the course, so you gained insight into the role of a working designer. It cemented the skills learnt in the classroom by being able to apply the learning to live projects with real clients. There were also plenty of external companies who would set our briefs throughout the year, which again helped prepare me for working life.

Who inspired you the most, and why?

Many of the tutors working in the school came from the design field previously, which was great experience to draw from. Programme Leader, Howard Fenwick, was the person who showed me around on my first interview and throughout my studies I found extremely helpful and encouraging in my work.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now/throughout your career?

I learnt how I work as a designer. Strengths, weaknesses and timekeeping - by working through full projects, I could assess my areas of improvement and work on them before venturing into the real world. In allowing me to work with real clients, I could have an understanding of the process and have experiences to talk about in my first job interviews. The transition from student to employment felt easy, which is a true testament to how Northumbria prepared me for the world of work.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

The combination of university, area and people made my experience so wonderful. I enjoyed my course and could feel the progression in my work throughout the projects. I took part in societies and volunteering in the Students’ Union, picking up the Volunteer of the Year award and being elected President of The Musical Theatre Society for three consecutive years. Equally, the city has an excellent nightlife, art scene and pretty much everything you could want.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Fun, rewarding and unforgettable.

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