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Alumni quotes

Below are quotes from Alumni about their experience during and career after the MA Multidisciplinary Innovation degree.

Luke Menzfeld (2)Luke Menzfeld
Occupation
Business Analyst at Technip Umbilicals
Company
Technip is a world leader in project management, engineering and construction for the energy industry
Multidisciplinary Innovation 
September 2008 - September 2009

"The key strength of the MDI programme is that it taught three distinctly different disciplines to collaborate & communicate outside of their areas of expertise. It exposed us to ways of working and interacting as project teams that were not transactional based on snippets of expertise & skills but transformational. It provided an environment where disciplines felt comfortable to tackle problems together as a combined unit rather than as individuals and encouraged us to explore the project briefs that we faced from a design-led perspective."

 

"On personal level i believe MDI was so important for my career as it embodies everything that is critical to the success of modern business. Innovation, strategy, planning, team work . . . the ability for a project team to define a clear vision and share an understanding of the desired output.  MDI put us one step ahead and i continue to implement the skills that i acquired on a daily badid."

Alexandra Tinning
Occupation
Design Project Manager
Company
Mars Chocolate - Middle East Turkey Africa
Multidisciplinary Innovation 
September 2010 - September 2011

"Before MDI I was blind to the positive difference design can make to business challenges. My year of MDI study enriched my skills and experience far beyond just the curriculum.  The lessons and projects did provide knowledge, tools and techniques of how design innovation can unlock solutions for a infinite number of challenges but it was the links with industry, learning from cross functional peers and collaboration that not only set me up with a job directly after the course but enabled a flying start with an established, talented design management function in Mars Chocolate."

Sarah Semple
Occupation
Brand Designer & Strategist
Company
ZhengBang Brand Consultancy Group, Beijing
Multidisciplinary Innovation 
September 2011 - September 2012

"In one fleeting year we worked on collaborative projects with Mars, Unilever, Bowers & Wilkins and British Airways. This meant delving into 4 entirely different industries, learning everything and anything about chocolate to what makes the average business traveller tick. Needless to say I came out of the year filled with knowledge about things I never would've imagined...and filled with chocolate."

 

"Every member of the team brought something different to the table, which made for a real balance of learning and sharing, a comfortable environment, where I believe everyone felt valued."

 

"It was one of the best decisions of my life to join MDI, hands down."

Adam Walker
Occupation
Head of Service Design
Company
Play

"'For me, MDI was the launch pad of my career. Having completed my BA in Transportation Design, i still felt that I had not quite found my calling. Then I found the MDI course and straight away it just felt right. I was looking for something Design-led, multidisciplinary, and alongside the fact that you got to work on real life projects with external industry links, I couldn't think of a reason why I wouldn't apply for the course."

 

"Since then having an MA in Multidisciplinary Design Innovation has opened up many doors for me, as well as starting many conversations with a multitude of people from across the world! Working alongside Mark is also a big plus, he is very connected and knows just how to drive you in the right direction."

Jogn Gribbin
Occupation
PhD student
Company
Northumbria University
Multidisciplinary Innovation 
September 2012 - Septhember 2013

"MDI gave me the opportunity to collaborate on projects set by industry leaders, which provided me with the opportunity to develop on a personal and professional level in an environment that is both innovative and supportive. I particularly enjoyed the experience that I gained from working with students from the disciplines of design and technology, which allowed me to improve upon my previous knowledge of business, whilst appreciating where I fit in terms of solving wider innovation challenges."

 

"After graduating from MDI, I began studying towards a PhD in design. The skills that I acquired through the course were instrumental in reaching this position, with the degree embedding strong research principles and providing me with the foundations to pursue a career in research."

Dan GilmoreDan Gilmore
Occupation
Lead UI / UX Designer
Company
Atomhawk Design Ltd 
Multidisciplinary Innovation 
September 2008 - September 2009

"MDI taught me how my skills in product design were applicable to many other fields of design and business. As a result I now work in a completely different field of design than product design and I'm helping my company grow in to new creative areas as well."

Sam Hirsch
Occupation
Designer and Consultant 
Company
Matter Digital
Multidisciplinary Innovation 
September 2013 - Septhember 2014

"MDI taught me to think about design in a far broader way than just creating products. It opened my eyes to how design can be used to gain business advantage in a competitive marketplace and above all I feel it allowed me to secure a great job at a higher level of responsibility than i could have hoped for!."

Daniella Colquhoun
Occupation
Campaign and Alliances manager 
Company
Trustmarque
Multidisciplinary Innovation 
September 2008 - Septhember 2009

"In my job role I sit across sales, services, projects, marketing and external Vendors; attempting to bring them together to achieve different albeit complimentary objectives. I believe my time undertaking the MA in MDI provided me with an abundance of transferable skills which help me every single day at work as I seek to continuously manage expectations and foster positive, collaborative, cross-functional yet often virtual team-working.

 

MDI also gave me the confidence to value my own contributions to tasks where I perhaps don’t appear to have any real experience – on paper at least. By completing projects across industries with extremely varied and complex briefs, the MDI MA provided me with the opportunity to expand into other areas such as innovation, research, usability design and engineering practices.

 

To operate as a multi-dimensional professional in an industry like IT where I now find myself; with the confidence to contribute whatever the forum alongside all levels of seniority, has to date proved an invaluable asset. It has also greatly influenced the type of Manager I am as I continuously strive to recognise the strengths of each of my team members and colleagues; looking out for collaboration opportunities to achieve the strongest outcomes whilst enabling that process to be positive and innovative through understanding the varying objectives of those involved"

Hasum Elfaki
Occupation
Designer
Company
AKQA London
Multidisciplinary Innovation 
September 2011 - Septhember 2012

"My favourite thing about the MDI course was definitely the people, and how much I was able to learn from everybody else regardless of your expertise or past experiences. Working in cross-functional teams meant that everybody has the chance to shape the outcome of any project, and alternative perspectives always contribute to the common goal one way or another.

 

Though the course could be considered as "design-led", I think of design as an approach that everybody can be involved in, and that in itself is truly empowering. If you're interested in challenging your lateral thinking ability or using your skills to transform products, services, or businesses, then I would highly recommend MDI to anyone. It was an incredible learning experience that I wouldn't substitute for any other if given the chance"

Martha HodgsonMartha Hodgson
Occupation
Senior Research and Insight Manager 
Company
Tribe Communications
Multidisciplinary Innovation 
September 2009 - Septhember 2010

Having worked for a Global Sportswear and Equipment Company as a Lead Designer for two year as a graduate, the decision to return to academic studies was not taken lightly. However, with a driving desire to advance my knowledge and experience in the field of innovation, Northumbria University’s Multidisciplinary Design Innovation (MDI) Masters course provided me with the optimum combination of academic study and industry scope to achieve both.

 

The most valuable and unique element to this Masters course is its project-focus; each module enables you to practice the fundamental principles being taught in genuine collaboration with a spectrum of organisations. Working on live projects enabled me to advance my problem-solving and strategic thinking, as well as advancing my ability to build and manage relationships with organisations and external agencies.

 

Taking on current industry problems to actively seek out innovative solutions (i.e. new concepts, practices, tools, business models) and develop creative implementation strategies proved to be both a highly rewarding and rich leaning experience. Alongside the industry connections, MDI also opened up a number of national competition and bursary opportunities; one of my proudest and most fulfilling experiences came from winning the MS Life Design bursary and being awarding second place in the 2009 Audi Design Competitions Regional Finals for an innovative social enterprise concept.

 

Working within a multidisciplinary environment not only enhanced my own core Design knowledge, but also helped me to build a working knowledge around business, engineering and high performing teams. The journey this Masters allows you to undertake vastly improved my degree of self-awareness that has enhanced my team working and leadership competencies, which I benefit from daily - both professionally and personally.


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Alumni Discounts

Graduates of the University are entitled to a 20% alumni discount on Masters study at Northumbria (T&C’s apply).

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