If you have the opportunity, I’d highly recommend consider doing a year or just a semester abroad.
More about Maitri
Why did you choose NTU and your course?
NTU’s art and design courses’ modules really matched what I imagined I’d be able to do at university hence I applied for BA (Hons) Product Design.
Additionally, I wanted to study design at university as I came from an arts background and was very interested in finding out other ways I could apply my creativity in different fields.
Have you been involved in any live projects of briefs on your course and if so, can you talk a bit about one you really enjoyed?
I’ve been part of a few live projects, one that I enjoyed the most was my first live project- with Wilko, in my first year. The brief was to create a product for Wilko, it was quite simple but very exciting. The project has apparently run for many years and the winner is offered an internship with them, I made it to the shortlist which was very rewarding. The most fruitful part of this project was that the team from Wilko’s design project were present during our studio sessions and we got the chance to get their feedback on our concepts at various stages of the brief as well as pitch our concepts at the end.
Could you please explain more about your exchange year?
I am about to complete a year abroad, two semesters at Hanbat National University in South Korea. During my time here I got to build many different skills through various classes under their Industrial Design department, as well as Korean language courses. I got to be a part of smaller projects and short courses during my time here, both related to design and unrelated ones.
It was a challenging time in terms of social experiences due to COVID-19 however, the university set up many programs and events for us to experience the culture and interact with other students during our time here.
What is your favourite project that you’ve worked on during your exchange year and why?
One of the first design projects I worked on at the start of my exchange year was a UX/UI design project for a Robot Café company. It was a very intriguing and gripping project as I got to work on almost a whole different area of design, as well as getting to know and working with other Korean students.
What skills have you gained by completing this exchange?
In terms of course relevant skills, I have become a lot more comfortable with working in group projects and adapting to the requirements of different briefs. My knowledge of different design fields, research and their applications have also widened. I have also learnt various new design software skills during my time here.
As for interpersonal skills I have become a lot more confident interacting and meeting new people, along with making my way around new places. I’m less afraid to try new things now.
Lastly, my language skills have improved quite a bit.
How will these skills enhance your employability for your chosen career?
I believe I am now more capable of showing my skills to appeal to employers. I am also a lot more confident in adapting to any working situation, with any amount of people from any cultural or professional background.
I’ve learnt to be quick, adaptable, and dependable, which I feel will greatly benefit my employability in the design field.
What advice would you give to an NTU student considering an exchange year?
Definitely do it! If you have the opportunity, I’d highly recommend consider doing a year or just a semester abroad. I had my doubts initially but it’s equally as beneficial as a placement year, and a lot more in terms of life experience.
What’s next for you after NTU?
I’m considering applying for graduate jobs after final year and very much intend to do a masters course as well.