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Don Bombuwela

MA Design Management

Where are you from?

Asia –  Sri Lanka

Why did you choose Design Management at Northumbria?

Well – it seems a strange choice considering my first degree was a BSc in Physics! I went on to work in research and development in a textiles company which combined my science background with design. Science is not a big market in Sri Lanka, and as I wanted to further my career prospects I felt that focusing on design would provide far greater opportunities in this sector.

What has your experience been like so far?

We were made to feel welcome as soon as we stepped off the plane. There were Sri Lankan students there to meet us and they even took us back to their house to give us a home cooked meal, which we were very grateful for after a long journey.

The staff are extremely supportive and approachable which is particularly important for someone coming from a non-design background. They help you to bridge the gap both in terms of culture and education.

My MA in Design Management has given me a greater insight into creative thinking and commercialism and allowed me to do that in a context that is relevant to my job. As a result I am confident that when I go back to my job in Sri Lanka I can add real value to the company and hopefully enhance my own prospects at the same time.

What has this experience taught you?

In terms of education I have a much richer understanding of design, what influences it and how to manage it. More specifically I have learned a great deal about the value of focusing on the end user. In other words understanding your clients and developing products that meet their needs.

In terms of life skills I am far more independent now. At home in Sri Lanka I lived with my mother so I didn’t have to anything for myself. Now I can run my own life. I have also learned a lot about time management and meeting deadlines.

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