The first part of the day was given over to the graduates to talk about their journey from UCLan to their current place of work. The range of employment, scale of work undertaken and career directions taken by the alumni is truly amazing. Paul Marsh who graduated in 2010 now works for Kier as a Design Manager, talked passionately about his role as an architectural technologist and the importance of being chartered. Matt Cross who graduated two years ago showed the current students a range of work he has undertaken since setting up his own practice and Mike Hartley who graduated in 2008 spoke to the students about his journey through the recent recession and about skills he had gained while at university which allowed him to ‘reposition’ himself following redundancy in 2010.
During the question and answer session the Alumni panel where joined by Jodie Chapman who graduate in 2012 and Gayle Barber who graduated the following year. The questions from the students ranged from how to be successful in their final year and the importance of the Degree Show, to questions relating to life in practice, where to look for jobs and this importance of BIM in the workplace.
The lunch break allowed staff, students and alumni to chat and catch up, with Emily Caunce (and baby) Ben Llewellyn, Nick Roberts and Lee Stanfield joining us in the AT studio for the afternoon session.
The afternoon was structured to allow the current students to talk about their Design Projects to the alumni and gain some valuable and practical feedback on moving design project forwards, alterative ways to present work and important words of wisdom about time management and how to cope with stress.
The day drew to a close just after 16.30 with all commenting on how productive and inspiring the day had been. The alumni enjoyed being back in the AT studio, staff felt a sense of pride in hearing about the various successes of the alumni and for the final year students reassurance, that there was indeed light at the end of the tunnel.