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Jo Lowe

Career Path: Senior Designer, AKQA
Location: UK

After finishing school in Scotland, I took a gap year before becoming a student at Northumbria. I initially enrolled on a Multimedia Computing course which I soon realised wasn't for me - far too much coding. I headed over to the Design building for a chat about joining the Interactive Media Design course - it seemed like the perfect mix of hands-on study, creativity and a bit of tech, so I was sold.

Where are you doing now?

I am now based in London at AKQA working on a nice variety of Beauty & FMCG accounts.

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

The design school at Northumbria has a good heritage which is respected by the design industry so when setting out to look for jobs, I believe I was in a stronger position than I would have been otherwise. I've noticed my repertoire of skills learnt on the course has also been a huge plus point. Not all designers in the industry have graphic design skills alongside video editing, motion graphics, HTML and sound design. This knowledge has been invaluable, and has also allowed for a nice variety of work.

What was the best thing about your course?

It was hard work, but fun, and group projects were great for learning from your peers.

Who inspired you the most, and why?

The tutors were all fantastic and seemed a lot cooler than tutors on other courses! My course mates were all an inspiration too: although we had the same brief to answer, everyone's solutions were different.

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

I use Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign on a daily basis. After Effects and Flash less so, but it's great to have that knowledge in a back pocket when briefing specialist motion designers or animators.

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

Newcastle-Upon-Tyne is a great city to study in. I made some great friends, and probably didn't work as hard as I should have but playing hard is all part of the experience too.

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

There are so many distractions - but make sure you knuckle down in your first year as best you can so you get a good grasp of the foundations.

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

Inspiring, fun and empowering.

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