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Sinead McAleer

BDes Product and Furniture design
Graduated 2016
Design and Ecommerce executive
Trunk Bespoke Doors Limited

Ulster University helped me achieve my current career success by...

Ulster University helped me achieve my current career success by helping me to make valuable connections through academia and industry to help me further progress my career. - Sinead McAleer

My Journey

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    Activities I was involved in at Ulster to enhance my employability

    One of the most beneficial elements that Ulster provided me with was the practical design skills I needed to create, but also the design-led thinking skills and strategies to help me problem solve. This mixture helped me immensely in my postgraduate study and industry experience.

    At my time as Ulster I was given the opportunity to take a Placement year with Zespoke Design. My industrial placement helped me to understand commercial viability of design skills within industry. This learning experience supported me throughout my final year at Ulster and helping me to secure employment.

    Ulster provided the opportunity to work on real life industry projects that helped develop my design skills, but also helped to prepare me for working life after university.

    During my time at Ulster I helped to secure official SU recognition for the society CREO, I held the Society president role for 1 year.

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    How placement enhanced my employability

    I undertook my Placement year with Zespoke Design this placement was one of the most valuable learning experiences, it helped me become more employable due to the variety of skills I held.Additionally, it helped me apply my new found knowledge to my final year projects.

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    How study abroad enhanced my employability


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    Top 3 most significant steps on my career path so far

    1. After completing my undergraduate course I decided I wanted to become multidisciplinary in my working style. I decided to apply for a Master’s degree in innovation, and with the help of my grades obtained at Ulster I secured a place at Northumbria University on a full scholarship.
    2. After finishing my Master’s Degree I secured employment within 3 weeks. I was fortunate enough to find a role where I could put to use my design, business and digital skills acquired from placement and my university study. I currently hold numerous roles in my current employment, Trunk Bespoke Doors.

What would your advice to students be?

Build yourself as a brand, in the design industry this is extremely important. Keep a consistent image across your CV, portfolios and online showcases. It shows thoughtfulness, recognition and precision. Always aim to update these every 6 month period to show your journey and growth as a designer.

Apply early, start making connections now. Understand and research the area you want to work in. Tailor every job application, make it personal, especially the cover letter. Prepare a portfolio, and really take the time to be critical and don't be scared or embarrassed about rejection.
- Sinead McAleer