Heather Fletcher
Tell us a bit about yourself 
I’m Heather Fletcher, I’m 20-years-old, and I’m in my third year of studying Graphic Design at Edinburgh Napier University.Edinburgh Napier University student Heather Fletcher

I originally started my undergraduate degree at the University of Dundee, studying general foundation art and design at DJCAD before transferring over to Edinburgh Napier University to learn Graphic Design. I like to explore the idea of mix media in graphic design using a range of illustration within my work.

What was the opportunity you were involved with?
I took part in ‘The Kelpies and Daydream Believers’ placement. Collaborating as a team to design creative merchandise for The Kelpies. Then I created a lesson pack for Daydream Believers explaining our process.
What did the role entail?

My main task consisted of designing and branding the product packaging, brainstorming product ideas, creating layouts for the lesson pack and working within a team to come up with tasks for the educational pack.

What key skills did your placement teach you?

I would say the placement helped me gain more confidence when pitching my designs to clients. I also learnt a lot about organisational skills and working to strict deadlines within a team.

What highlights do you have of your placement?

It was great to work with someone in a different field, witnessing different stages of our work develop into one full product. It was amazing to see the sketches grow from ideas. Another highlight for me was getting to talk to people from all areas of different industries, that really helped us see the product from different angles.

What challenges did you face?

The main challenge we faced was having to work from home, but we worked through zoom and made sure to keep each other motivated through the process. At the start it was a bit daunting as we were in the beginning stages of the placement, making sure to keep on top of our work by keeping note and creating weekly planners helped.

How did your studies at Edinburgh Napier University prepare you for this placement? 

I was looking at placements during lockdown. I was not sure what to expect, but Edinburgh Napier University really helped by sending a range of placement briefs and information out to all third-year students. I also found that the opportunities week, which included a range of portfolio reviews and talks from people within the industry really helped me prepare for future opportunities. 

Has the placement affected your future career plans? 
If so, in what way? 

The placement exposed me to different sectors within design and allowed me to gain valuable experience and skills that employers may look for. The placement gave me the opportunity to put previous studies to use by creating a unique product. 

Would you recommend doing a placement to others? If so, why?

I would recommend doing a placement as you can gain experience in a specific industry that you are interested in. The placement also prepares you for work after university and gives you a taster on what to expect after your course. 

What advice would you give to anyone considering doing a placement at university? 

I would say do not be afraid to ask questions, after all the placement is a learning experience and you are not expected to know everything straight away. I would also say feedback is valuable for growth, if you can get feedback on your work it’s always great to see different opinions. 

To see our process with The Kelpies and Daydream believers visit our blog: Kelpie Dreamers