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Daniel Jackson

Transportation Design

Where are you from?

Sunderland, England

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

Newcastle is my local city, I have lived in Washington just eight miles from Newcastle all my life. Before I joined Northumbria university I used to live in the city and have family and friends all around me. Things I like to do in Newcastle include running along the river Tyne, playing tennis in Leazes park, meeting friends and family for coffee and enjoying a meal out in the cities many restaurants.

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

As a local nothing much about the city surprises me very much as I have watched it change over the years however, since studying at university I have been very surprised to see just how many international students are living and studying here. There are many varied communities of all backgrounds, nationalities and religions living together and enjoying the hospitality of the locals, shopping and social areas the city has to offer.

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

I did find the university welcoming from friendly and professional staff to fellow students across all year groups.

What have you enjoyed most about coming to Northumbria University?

Definitely the friends I have made along with the varied perspective they given me over the years, from connecting with my younger self, to thinking about the way I approach design.

Who has helped you most since you came to Northumbria?

Making a connection with friends who you can always speak to and share ideas has helped me greatly, there are so many people who make up the year group and it's not always possible to know them all however I couldn't say any one person has helped me the most as family and staff help in many ways too.

Who has inspired you most at Northumbria University?

The staff and their individual stories and experiences are a great source of inspiration, also having access to industry experts who often come into university to work with us can also inspire. For me being quite competitive I would say the biggest inspiration is watching others work hard and reviewing the work they present, this often drives me to work hard.

What is your favourite place on campus?

My favourite place is the design building in which I spend most of my time. There are many places on campus but most of the time due to work load I find myself around the design building.

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

As a local I have my family and friends around me so most free time I get is spent with them, i also work in the city so between work time, study time and being with family and friends I don't get a great deal of time for clubs or sports teams. However I do play tennis in tow often with friends and during the summer I did get time to do some paid volunteer work for the university open day.

What is the best thing about your course?

We don't get exams. Being in design our work is quite open to interpretation and we are assesd through design work assignments and briefs, either just for university or for industry clients often on real life projects.

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?

My time at university has given me a broader understanding of the design sector, it's also allowed me to understand much more about myself in terms of how I work as a designer. My intention for the future would be to set up my own brand/identity and to work on a small high quality, handcrafted product I can control and be proud of.

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

Yes, in my second year secured a placement with a design firm in Mexico and spent five months working for them in Cuernavaca Mexico. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them and made some fantastic friends. I worked on live projects gaining industry knowledge and real exposure in a design role for the first time.

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

Other than Mexico a group of us also travelled to Sheffield to visit JCB, and take a guided tour of their production factory which we had arranged as part of one of our assignments. This was a good opportunity to make some industry contacts and even a good starting place for a placement or internship later down the line.

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

Because I'm a mature student who joined university at the age of 29, I'd say to enjoy the time as you'll make good friends and be involved in some exciting projects. But always remember to work hard, write everything down, ask questions whenever you're unsure and put nothing off until tomorrow.

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

I do feel that I have changed since first joining in respect to working as part of a team or with industry clients and working abroad in Mexico to making new friends and developing new skills and fine tuning others. I have a greater appreciation now for product quality, materials, sustainability and the environment, presenting work, ideating and communicating ideas and concepts appropriately. We all have a level of confidence and I've learnt from university it's all about directing that confidence in a meaningful manner to get the best from yourself and others, something I feel is an ongoing process.

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

Work, Determination, Friendship.

Would you recommend Northumbria University to a friend?


Sunderland, England

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