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Mr Matt Verity

Originally from Harrogate North Yorkshire, I was always interested in Design and Technology I found that as computers were increasingly being adopted into peoples everyday lives and I became pretty good at understanding how to fix or navigate problems from a software perspective. It was this realisation that led me to think about a much more tech heavy career. Purely because I was told I was good at it. I signed up to Multimedia Computing at Northumbria, got my HTML books and set to it. I soon found that the Computer Science route was not creative enough for me and that I was much more interested in the movement and experiential potential of web development over the hardcore coding. Animation, motion graphics and creative was where my heart was, so I moved across into the faculty of arts and joined the Interactive Media Design course. It opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities and thinking. Not thinking about limitations of code but more about using design and technology to solve interesting problems. This type of creative thinking led to my being offered a job at Glue London, one of the worlds pioneers in Digital Advertising. Seeing my work at the New Designers showed that my way of thinking suited the type of work they created. I started as a Junior Designer and after 10 years I left as an Associate Creative Director. It was an amazing journey, helping them to build a whole stream of award winning work for a wide range of global brands.  As well as growing a start-up business of 28 staff members to a large media agency of 150 passionate people. My passion is now very much seen through the lens of being a Creative Director, looking at how digital technology can help solve problems in a creative and beautiful way. Interactive Media Design helped me find what I believed in and allowed me to develop the skills I needed to get there. Ask someone else who has been on the course and I guarantee their answer and career path will be vastly different. For me that is why this course so great.

What are you doing now?

After deciding to finally move on from Glue Isobar I was humbled at the experience these guys gave me and the reputation I had left with. I was offered a multitude of jobs that spanned the world, but I chose to go after the dream of setting up my own business. With my two buddies we won a place at Wayra ( the accelerator scheme funded by O2/Telefonica) built a start-up tech company from nothing and now we have an office in East London just near Tech City developing our latest app for our company TrueView. We have just raised our second round of funding as well as launched a co-working space called the Hatch. Our aim is to build a community of designers, developers and creatives, to encourage cross pollination of talent. It is a really exciting time to be in the tech start-up scene and I can't wait to see where the next 10 years takes me.

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

The digital landscape has evolved in such an amazing way since I was studying at Northumbria.  If I could of guessed where the industry was going there is absolutely no other course I could have guessed. The combination of skill development and career direction is exactly what students in the arts need. This course doesn't spit you all out as clones, they nurture and understand the great spectrum of varying talent and disciplines. Whether you are a developer, game designers, motion graphic experts or graphic designer - you are guided to the career you that fits. Without this course I really wouldn't have found the Creative and Design Industry I am so passionate about. There is no doubt in my mind that the skills and understanding I learnt from this course gave me such an advantage over those with just a  Graphic Design qualification . The need to understand the digital landscape is more important in design now than ever before and the gap between development and design has never been smaller. What is important is working out where you fit in this huge pool of digital talent and that is what this course can do.

What was the best thing about your course?

It made you feel that you could create, concept, build or design what ever you wanted to with the guidance and support that really extracted your true passion and skills. It gave you the ability to discover what it was that excited you and informed you how to best apply that to industry.

Who inspired you the most, and why?

Jamie Steane. He made me realise what my true passion was and brought out the best in me. I was no developer, I loved writing code and building something from nothing but it wasn't my passion. I was not an A grade student at school but when it came to this course I never wanted to do anything but design, come up with new ideas and try new things. Jamie Steane and the rest of the team gave me confidence and guided me into an amazing first grade degree and an amazing career. I can't thank them enough.  David Carson was also great. The legend who showed that Graphic Design doesn't have to follow a structure or rules, it is about feeling, intuition and expression. He gave me the confidence to experiment with design, test and push boundaries. For me anyone who can inspire and give someone confidence to express themselves and their personality through design helps produce a better designer. He did that to me.

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

Confidence. The fundamentals of the course will always be installed in me but they evolve constantly. Your software skills and your communication skills change. You learn new techniques, new software, meet people with new ideas or ways of working. I think the core skills people will never forget from this course are those that are not tangible; confidence in yourself and constant self improvement. The want to learn new skills and techniques to really push ideas and make something the best you can is now pre-installed in me.

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

Self-discovery. The city, Northumbria University, the staff and everything in between makes this course and this University such a worthy choice. I met some of my best friends here and found something I was so committed to, which in turn has led me to an amazing career in London and potentially beyond.

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

If you do it, do it properly!! There is so much fun to be had and so many great people to meet so commit to every aspect of it and you will come out the other end with a huge smile.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in 3 words

Laughter, Focussed, Proud

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