My name is Andy Chan and I am 21 years old. I studied at Burnside Business and Enterprise College from 2008 to 2015; this is where I have acquired my GCSEs and A-levels. I completed a BA (Hons) in Architecture at Northumbria University and now I am fortunate enough to attend Newcastle University in September 2019, studying a Masters degree in Architecture.
What encouraged you to take part in TICE? What creative area did you choose and why?
The creative industry has always been my career prospect in terms of being a designer but I did not know which sector I wanted to strive for. My friends took part in TICE (2010-2011) and told me it was a great experience. They encouraged me to take part and so in 2011-2012, I took the opportunity and signed up to do Graphic Design as it had interested me whilst studying the subject in my GCSEs. By signing up to TICE, it made it clear that I wanted to specialise in Graphic Design as a career.
Can you describe 3 things that stood out for you in terms of opportunities, mentors etc. during your TICE experience back in 2011-12?
1. I was informed by Mark (graphics mentor) that creativity is best when you “think outside the box”. Ever since then I have been using that concept to come up with more complex and daring designs in my coursework.
2. Having real design briefs to complete in the silver stage stood out for me during my experience. I remember creating a perfume packaging for Hugo Boss and this was the first time that I was able to have access to professional software such as Adobe Photoshop. It was like a head start and having an insight in to design software still comes in handy as I have been using Adobe Photoshop in my present work.
3. The Final Show was a very significant part of my experience at TICE. I had the opportunity to explain my design ideas from the Gold Stage to parents and professionals who attended the final show at Northumbria University. To do this, I had to gain confidence and speak to strangers which in result helped them understand and appreciate my designs.
How do you feel TICE has impacted you on a personal level, particularly involving confidence levels and other qualities that are important to have when working in creative industry?
Within the Graphic Design area, teamwork was vital along with other various communication skills. The programme encouraged me to communicate with students from other schools and allowed me to give them feedback on their tasks and vice versa. Also, another key aspect that I learned from the programme is to never be afraid to put any form of design onto paper as designs can lead to other designs, which is a skill that can be applied to any sector of the creative industry.
How do you feel TICE has influenced your career choice?
TICE had made clear for me that graphic design was not for me because I am more of a practical person that likes to draw and make conceptual models out of materials rather than digital design. However TICE has given me a step up in using professional software which will link strongly to my Architecture degree.
Did TICE open up other opportunities for you after completing the programme? i.e Work experience, more contacts, working with other students who took part, mentioning it in interviews …
I was asked by my teacher to help out in TICE 2013-2014 and so I was able to go to the Graphic Design firm, “Everything D.fferent”. I was advised by Mark (graphics mentor) to take the opportunity to speak to all the professionals and try to get work experience there. Unfortunately, I was not able to get a placement there. However, I was able to mention my TICE experience in my personal statement towards my University application, as Architecture is a creative route which links to TICE.
What piece of advice would you give to a student who may be considering taking part in TICE?
I would recommend that students take this opportunity to participate and experience being in the creative industry. You might be surprised with the amount of links and experience you may receive whilst enjoying the programme and it is an opportunity that I would not miss out on!