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Caroline Innes

Interactive Media Design

Interactive Media Design Student Caroline InnesWhere are you from?

Leeds.

Why did you choose Northumbria University, Newcastle?

I chose Northumbria after visiting an Open Day in Sixth Form. After listening to a talk on Interactive Media Design, I knew the course fitted me perfectly, and really chose Northumbria for the course itself.

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

Newcastle is a great city, particularly for students. Everything you might need is within walking distance. I often eat out both in the city centre and Jesmond as there are so many places with good food and student discount or happy hour! One of my favourites is the Diner in Fenwicks - the milkshakes are the best I've ever had!  The Quayside is also perfect in Summer to wander along and sit outside for drinks by the river.

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

Having never been to Newcastle before, and knowing nothing about it, living in Newcastle was definitely the perfect place for me which took me by surprise. Everyone is so friendly, although the accent takes a little getting used to at first!  The biggest surprise was how much there is to do in a relatively small city. Newcastle is well known for it's night life, but there's also so much more - restaurants, art galleries, shops etc - I've never run out of places to go!

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

Northumbria was definitely welcoming when I first arrived. I was lucky in that my flat were all easy to get along with and raring to go out and explore as well as meet new people. It obviously takes a while to adjust to living with new people and making new friends, but I didn't find it difficult at all.

What have you enjoyed most about coming to Northumbria University?

Living away from home in a friendly, relatively small city with great new friends.

Who has helped you most since you came to Northumbria?

My uni friends have been helpful throughout my three years here - they're usually going through the same stress and things that you are, so they can give the best advice.

Who has inspired you most at Northumbria University?

A talk from design company UsTwo was definitely one of the best motivational talks I've had while at University. The speaker took us through his journey to where he is now and spoke with real passion about interactive design.

What is your favourite place on campus?

Habita, the bar in the student union is definitely once of my favourite places on campus, particularly in the Summer months. After hand ins and presentations, we often go as a group to celebrate here and can sit in the sun or on the sofas inside.

Have you joined any sports teams, clubs or been involved in any volunteer projects?  Tells us about the highlights?

During both my second and third year, I volunteered during Welcome Week. I was able to help move new students in, welcome them to Northumbria and meet the 200 other volunteers. Working in teams of about 12 meant meeting new people from every course. After spending every day together for almost a fortnight, with early mornings and late nights, it was strange to not be seeing them as much, although we are all still in touch. I would definitely recommend Welcome Week to anyone at Northumbria.

What is the best thing about your course?

In our final year, we were finally able to set our own design briefs and do whatever we wanted. This enabled me to incorporate things I was interested in, such as fashion, into my project. As a result, the research I used for my final projects is particularly interesting but is also relevant to the industry and jobs I want to apply for.

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

I have learnt to become more independent by living away from home for 3 years, but also more relaxed and easy to live with, I think. Living in a house of 7 means that not everything will always be clean and tidy, and it can be stressful sometimes living with friends but it's also a lot of fun!  In terms of my course, one of the most difficult but valuable lessons I had to learn during my three years here was to share my ideas, even right at the start of a project. Although I thought I was onto something great at the beginning of a project, by working alongside others and asking their opinions on my ideas and designs, the idea developed more and became much better than just keeping it to myself for fear of being copied.

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'm hoping to go into the fashion industry and learn how technology can be used to enhance experiences both online and offline.  Having the opportunity to be course rep and on the committee for our Final Degree Show had taught me a lot about commitment and compromising in order to get the best results that everyone will be happy with. Working in a team is not always easy, but sometimes the results can be bigger and better.

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

At Northumbria we have had the opportunity to work on live design briefs with real companies which always excites the group and makes us work harder. The tutors also regularly update us on any jobs, placements or relevant exhibitions going on around us.  This year, we were able to work with R/GA, a particularly successful design agency. We presented our ideas directly to the Creative Director and a team of employees on Skype during our final presentations which allowed us to get first hand feedback, and when they said we'd "nailed it" - it was definitely a memorable experience!

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

In second year, all three years of our course were invited to Prague to explore the city and visit some design museums and a television company. Being a digital course, there was ample opportunity to photograph the culture and a new city which excited a lot of us. However, it also allowed us to talk to students from different year groups, who we might not see while at University normally.

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

Definitely make sure the course is right for you, so maybe visit an open day and talk to the tutors - that's what convinced me. If you have the time, walk around Newcastle City Centre and get a feel of the city, you'll see everyone is friendly and there's so much to do - you won't want to leave.

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

As I said, I've become a lot more independent, and my confidence has definitely improved as I've grown here. From gaining both higher and lower marks, I've learnt to reflect and understand why and applied this to future projects.  I was always organised, but independent learning often pushes organisational skills to the limit, so I think I've changed a little in that respect too.

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

Exciting new opportunity.

Would you recommend Northumbria University to a friend?

Yes.

For more information about Caroline please visit:

Instagram: carolineyes10
Website: www.carolineinnes.co.uk


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