Charity, IE News

A week with the design and brand team

From time to time we like to welcome a student or recent graduate for some work experience with the IE Brand team. One such student was graphic designer Katherine (Katie) Vella, who had just completed her degree in Media and Communications at Birmingham City University. She approached us directly and we liked her work, so we invited her to spend a week in the IE studio. 

For a week in May, I attended a work experience placement at IE Brand. I gained experience with the branding team and I was lucky enough to learn alongside two of the designers, Josie and Lewis, as well as receiving helpful and insightful industry advice from the Creative Director David and Managing Director Ollie.

On my first day, I was welcomed into the office and instantly felt the friendly environment created by the IE team, with everyone making an effort to talk to me and help me wherever they could. I got to sit down with the Creative Director and Managing Director to discuss my week ahead and what I would like to gain from this experience. I explained I was a recent university graduate and I wanted to experience working in a design agency, to develop my skills in the branding sector and to learn how to use specific software like Illustrator and Sketch.

I was nervous to start the work experience as I did not have any experience in an agency, and I was worried my skills were not strong enough in certain areas and I would constantly have to ask for help. However, Josie, Lewis and David, were very happy to help and spend time answering my many questions, teach me how to use the software and give advice on my designs and where I could improve. I was given interesting tasks to complete to see the steps taken in the branding process and the types of jobs I would be involved in working in a design agency. The office felt relaxing and supportive, and I could learn new skills and software at my own pace and without pressure.

As well as learning the branding process, how to create certain pieces of work like website layouts and vector logos and developing my knowledge of Adobe Software, I was invited to attend an internal engagement presentation for the charity Agapé. I learnt about the brand consultancy side of the company and how they assess a brand and suggest ideas to for how they could improve aspects of the organisation. It was very interesting watching a formal presentation and to learn about a section of the industry I had no prior knowledge of.

The week was everything I hoped for and more, and I’ve learnt new skills in branding, how to use new software, and gained advice on my portfolio to go forward in my graduate job search more confidently. I have learnt so much in this small amount of time and gained more confidence in my design skills for future job endeavours. I am very grateful for the time I have spent at IE, the people I have met and worked with and the experience I have gained. Thank you to everyone at IE for their time and making me feel like part of the team for the week.

The office felt relaxing and supportive and I could learn at my own pace and without pressure. The week at IE Brand was everything I hoped for and more and I learnt new skills in branding, how to use new software and I gained advice on my portfolio to go forward in my graduate job search more confidently.

Katie Vella
Design work experience