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Laura van Krieken

BA Design for Industry


Where are you from?

Edinburgh, Scotland 

Why did you choose Northumbria University, Newcastle?

I loved the fact that I would get the opportunity to do two placements during my degree which would give me such an advantage once I graduated. When I came to Northumbria on an open day I saw that there was such a variety on the projects the tackled which meant I would get the opportunity to try lots of different areas of design. This really appealed to me as I didn't know what are I wanted to specialise in.

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

Newcastle is such a friendly place and there is loads to do here, but it's also really easy to get out of the city and explore the surrounding area - fish and chips at Tynemouth is a must.

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

I was surprised at how easy it is to get everywhere, the university and the majority of the accommodation are very close to town so you're never far away from where you need to be.

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

Definitely, especially in the design school. All the years are really friendly and are happy to talk about their projects and give you advice. It's amazing when you realise that the people you get on so well with you've only known for a short time.

What have you enjoyed most about coming to Northumbria University?

I've met loads of new people whilst I've been at university, which makes the whole experience much more enjoyable.

Who has helped you most since you came to Northumbria?

I think socialising with all the other years has really helped me a lot. You get a different perspective every time you speak to someone new which I think helps shape you as a person.

Who has inspired you most at Northumbria University?

Seeing the fourth years work at new designers was definitely inspiring, as is when you hear of people and graduates getting jobs at companies like Phillips and Lego.

What is your favourite place on campus?

Anywhere you can buy coffee has to be a favourite hasn't it?

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

I played football during my first two years at university, but I recently joined the ultimate frisbee team to try something new, and within the first month we went down to Liverpool to play as a team! Joining sports team or a society is the best way to make friends outside of your course

What is the best thing about your course?

The atmosphere. Its motivating when your surrounded by similar minded people and it also pushed you to be better.

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

One of the most valuable lessons i've learnt to date is that you need to be persistent, you can't expect to find a solution immediately. There is a lot of trial and error involved but that's the only way you learn.

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?

If im being honest I'm not entirely sure yet, I want to experience as many different areas of design as I can whilst I'm here as that will give me a better idea of the area I want to focus on. I've learnt a lot of communication skill that I will be able to utilise regardless of what area I end up working in and i've certainly developed my design thinking and how I approach a project.

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

I was lucky enough to secure a three month placement at Fjord, a design and innovation consultancy which focused on digital services. That was an amazing experience and some of the things I learnt there I will remember through out my design career. We're also exceptionally fortunate to be able to work on live projects with the NHS, Phillips which gives us an insight into how you work in the "real world"

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

I've not been on any trips yet, but that will soon change when we go to New York...

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

Take advantage of the cheap drinks, you'll only be a student once! Throw yourself in the deep end, try and make as many friends as possible, There are so many opportunities you can take when you're at university.

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

There is no doubt I've changed as a person since being at Northumbria, I'm much more confident in myself and my abilities

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

Rewarding hard work

Would you recommend Northumbria University to a friend?


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