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What I’m most proud of is the hundreds of students I’ve helped to get placements and jobs in the industry over the years

More about Stu

Graphic Design alum Stu Watson took some time out from running his brand agency, Nomad Studio, to answer a few questions about his career journey since graduating and what continues to motivate him 20 years on.

Nomad Studio have worked with world renowned brands including Disney +, Sky Sports and Nike, to name a few and Stu and Nomad have proudly offered countless career opportunities to NTU students over the years.

Why did you decide to study Graphic Design at NTU?

I was the first person in my family to go to university and so my decision was all due to my wonderful art teacher at school. They recommended NTU as the Graphic Design course here was the best in the country. Art and design are the only things I’ve ever been really good at and I knew I wanted to be a designer when I was at primary school so it was the perfect fit for me.

My three years at NTU were the best of my life. The facilities were so inspiring and I was lucky enough to have three fantastic lecturers, who I still keep in touch with today. I went from a shy boy to a confident man.

I lived with people on my course so we ate, slept and dreamt design. We set up a dark room in our cellar and it became a lab for our creativity. My life outside of the course, working in a bar, also gave me the confidence to find my voice and I think a lot of my personality today is down to these formative years.

Can you give us a potted history of what you’ve done in your career?

My role has changed so much over the years from being a full-time designer, to running a company and spending most of my day helping to empower the team to give them the confidence and a safe space to be the best they can be.

Have you faced any particular challenges, how have you dealt with these? 

I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to follow my dream. I jumped at the opportunity to study at NTU and benefited from student loans, grants and the support of my parents - I didn’t want to waste my chance, I was driven to make the absolute most of my time as a student and my career opportunities since.

To be honest, I don’t really think about challenges as it is such a privilege to do what you love. And I’ve pretty much loved every day of my career. I’ve worked really hard. I’ve tried to help as many people as possible to get into industry. I’ve travelled the world, and I’ve had the privilege to work on brands that are close to my heart (Nike, Sky, Premier League, The FA, The Times, Natural History Museum…) and I’ve had loads of fun doing it.

What motivates you outside work? 

There are so many things but, as I feel incredibly lucky to have had the career that I have, I like to volunteer my time as an NTU Alumni Fellow, helping current students make the leap. What I’m most proud of is the hundreds of students I’ve helped to get placements and jobs in the industry over the years.

Do you have any plans and ambitions for the future?

To make Nomad a sustainable and world class brand agency, allowing me to follow my other passions of helping start-ups that are making a difference to get off the ground. I am a board member of Mindstruck, a venture builder for ideas that help to solve Stress, Illness, Loneliness and Obesity (SILO) and I want to continue with this too.

Finally, is there anything else you’d like to share with our NTU community? 

University can never be replaced or ‘phoned in’. You have to be there. It’s as much about life experience as it is about what you learn. Sure, you could take a design course online but you would miss out on so much. I am the person I am today because of those three years. The confidence NTU gave me to follow my dreams and have a ton of fun whilst doing it is what has really stuck with me.

Connect with Stu on Linked In:

Find out more about Nomad Studio: Nomad Studio Brand Agency | Nomad Studio

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