More about Qais
What is it about NTU that made you want to study here?
“I am proud to be undertaking my degree at NTU – the course has both content and structure designed to educate and inspire students to believe in their capabilities. Attending the Furniture and Product Design Degree Show confirmed my desire to pursue a career in this field. Nottingham is such a vibrant student city and NTU caters for the needs of all students in a positive way.”
What do you enjoy most about your course at NTU?
“Without a doubt, the course has given me the opportunity to stretch myself and feel positive about my design and making ideas. We are given a wide variety of topics to choose to work on. Guidance is available at every step of the process by qualified lecturers who have or who continue to work within the industry. Also, the facilities here in my opinion are second to none!”
Have you been involved in any live projects or briefs?
“During my second year, we were fortunate enough to visit Isokon Plus in London. We were able to see the entire process on how to complete an artistic and user-friendly Isokon Penguin Donkey. This has given me the expertise and confidence to take up upcoming projects.”
Has the course included any industry competitions?
“One project I am really passionate about is the design of a pendant light for Heal’s. The research and work I undertook in order to complete this project has made me eager to pursue lighting projects as part of my design career.”
What do you think about the course staff?
“Everyone has been very supportive and amazing. They have fully supported us and made us feel welcome, and this has added to our learning experience. I'm sure we all have memorable moments that will stay will us forever.”
Have you completed any work placements?
“I was involved in interesting projects with tight deadlines, working on large sculptures and wood steam/bending. I am now much more confident and aware on how to use a multitude of woodworking tools and my general hands-on skills. I will never forget the work placement for so many reasons, least of all the support of Charlie who understood my hearing disability and was happy to share his knowledge at every step of the way.”
What advice would you give to prospective students who are considering applying for this course?
“If you want to become a furniture and product designer, do it! Also, you should definitely do a placement year as it will help you to understand how a business works, along with its constraints and how these have to be overcome without affecting your business or client satisfaction.”
Are you involved in any sports or societies at NTU?
“I joined the Islamic Society – my faith is immensely important to me. I also designed a logo for the society, organising events and designing promotional materials for upcoming events.”
Can you tell us more about your exchange to Spain?
“Moving to Valencia for a semester proved to be a life-affirming decision. My perspective on life has changed immeasurably since living in Spain. Being able to meet people from around the globe, experience their cultures, languages, outlook on life, and the willingness of everyone to share their knowledge and skills meant we created lifelong friendships.
“It was hugely rewarding being able to work with like-minded students from all over Europe with different skill sets, and all of whom were happy to work together and share their skills. I completed a Furniture for Children project on the European Project Semester (EPS) programme.
“I believe the whole experience has given me a new perspective on life, furthered my education, and given me added confidence. Travelling to different cities in Spain was the highlight of my trip because I learned more about the culture, tried different types of food, and made a bunch of new friends.”
Can you tell us about the type of support you got from both NTU and Universitat Politècnica de València?
“I was awarded an Erasmus+ grant and it covered my rent. I found my accommodation and flights myself.”
What skills have you gained by completing this semester abroad?
“I have gained invaluable knowledge and skills on how to communicate and gel with a team from various parts of the world. I have crossed both multicultural and multi-language barriers. Both my marketing and design skills have improved as I learned how to meet specific needs of varying target markets.”
How will these skills enhance your employability for your chosen career?
“My time spent in Valencia allowed me to develop as a person and a designer. I’ve learned how to work as a valued team member, and develop my ability to listen to the customer and produce what is requested. I will be proud to add my semester abroad in Valencia on my CV – it would be a talking point at interviews.”