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Max Holford

Multidisciplinary Innovation

Where are you from?

Middlesbrough

What do you think of Newcastle and our region and what are your favourite things to do?

Newcastle has grown to be my home away from home and surprises me year after year. I enjoy playing snooker at The Hustler and Sandyford Social Club. Walking around town, or Jesmond Dene with friends and Heaton Park in the summer.  I love the bars and gigs at places like The Cluny. Through friends I have seen the arty side of Newcastle at Hoults Yard and other little gems.

What has surprised you most about living in Newcastle and this region? What has impressed you most?

The lovely old housing estates like Jesmond and the Dene. Everything is in close proximity meaning I can walk everywhere. The local pubs are very welcoming and my friends and I often drink in the Percy Arms.

Did you find Northumbria University welcoming? Was it easy to fit in?

Yes, very easy, it helped having existing friends which allowed us to share our friendship circles into an even larger community of friends.

What have you enjoyed most about coming to Northumbria University?

The people! I've had some great nights out and great conversations with great people and that is what I will take away with me from my time at University.

Who has helped you most since you came to Northumbria?

Tutors  who have always been willing to help with work related any time and any place, providing direction.  On top of this the catering, bar and library staff always have a smile on their face and have greeted me every morning with enthusiasm!

Who has inspired you most at Northumbria University?

The guest lecturers probably, not that I wouldn't want to achieve what my tutors have, I think I need to find a job that pays well to sustain my life for friends and family before I set out pushing boundaries in knowledge.

What is your favourite place on campus?

Booth 21 in Habita. I arrive there early in the morning and enjoy the light buzz around which allows me to work effectively. With a pint of tap water with a slice of lemon. Lovely.

What is the best thing about your course?

The people! I've met so many wonderful people with such diverse skills from all different places in the World. We share these skills and difference in cultures and genuinely enjoy each others company.

What are the most valuable lessons you have learnt to date?

Design principles and process amongst how to produce design related work using the relevant softwares.  Emotionally though, I've learnt to handle my own emotions and recover from bad days quickly, making sure I make the most of my time here.

What do you want to do in the future? What skills have you learned/improved that you think will be of most use in your future career?

I've learnt a massive amount of time management, work flow and group working skills. To be honest I want a job that pays well. I have aspirations to create digital projects that push the boundaries of existing technologies and improve usability, however, I must admit money and a secure lifestyle are my primary goal.

Have you worked on any projects with businesses or been on a placement? What were your most memorable experiences?

With my course I have been lucky enough to work on live projects all year and even pitch to the clients face to face. This nature of my course has really stepped my motivation and natural professionalism abilities.  I have loved working on these briefs alongside my colleagues and sharing skills and points of view is most memorable to me.

Have you taken up any opportunities to travel with your current course/undertake field trips? If so, please tell us about them.

Yes, field trips were definite highlights on my course. It allowed us at the time to see how people work in the professional world across Europe and in real life design agencies. We even organised our own field trip to run alongside the University ran one because we could get a cheaper price and were pro actively motivated in our field of work.

If you could offer some advice to students thinking of coming to study here what would you say?

Just take the leap and see where you end up. I've thought a lot about the advice I would give to new students such things like set an earlier deadline to your deadline and always be honest about what you are capable of. But it always comes back to you will deeply truly never change. And I think that is the comfort. But it is important to just throw yourself into perhaps uncomfortable situations such as an out of university lecture somewhere and see what happens.

How do you feel you have changed as a person since being at Northumbria University, Newcastle (e.g. confidence)?

I've gained confidence and knowledge but ultimately take pride in remaining myself but learning the ability to change.

If you had 3 words to sum up your time with us what would they be?

Work, do, look!

Would you recommend Northumbria University to a friend?

Yes and I have!


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