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Alumni

Jamian Cobbett

Career Path: Director of Design, Nike+ Smart Sensing, Nike
Location:

Jamian -Cobbett _Northumbria -University -Alumni _255I always wanted to be a photographer, but was told I'm not pretentious enough. Then I figured out I was more passionate about the camera equipment than the actual photographs.  During my Art Foundation course my 3D lecturer noted that I was talented and should check out the courses at Newcastle Polytechnic (he was a Geordie).  I found the brochure in the library, with inspiring imagery of work by the likes of John Tree and Jonny Ive.  Next to it was a BeoCenter 2500 brochure, celebrating how they designed the back of the product.  My mind was blown.  You could have a job design this stuff!

What are you doing now?

Helping create the future of smart sensing for Nike.

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

Newcastle built industrial designers from the ground up.  It taught the fundamentals that make you instantly attractive as an entry level designer, while planting the seeds to help you grow in to successful leaders (both of teams and of the profession).  That, plus the close network of successful BADFI graduates, gave me the edge.

What was the best thing about your course?

The first year of Design For Industry was like a Boot Camp!  The rapid learning and stress level in that first year created strong bonds between students and laid an extremely strong foundation of skills.  That accelerated infusion of knowledge and experience, along with the peer to peer mentorship and work placements, is what set Newcastle apart from other courses.

Who inspired you the most, and why?

The establishment possessed a strong character of professionalism.  It was hammered in to you that only the best, performing at their best, would graduate.  Their was a sense of honor to be accepted on to the course and responsibility live up to its reputation.  That combined with the economic outlook at the time was more than enough motivation.  The graduating year of my first year at Newcastle (1993) set the standard for us to meet and [try to] beat.  They were rock stars: Awesome mentors, inspiring final year projects and an extreme level of craftsmanship.  To this day many of us stay in touch and work in the same companies, or directly competing against each other.

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

Self criticism; Read between the lines, question everything; It is the result that counts not the effort; Good enough is never good enough.

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

The camaraderie.  There was intense pressure and competition, but at the end of the day we all had each others backs; and still do till this day.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

1. You've got to have talent. 2. Be prepared to work hard; raw talent is not enough. 3. Use the network of BADFI graduates to your advantage.  If you have the talent and work ethic of #1&2, we will be very happy to get to know you.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in 3 words?

Stressful, professional, foundational

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