Roberto Cutrera

Roberto Cutrera profileFinal year BA (Hons) Graphic Communication student, Roberto Cutrera, completed an optional work placement at architectural and brand design firm, Gensler. He answered a few questions for us about the practicalities and benefits of her time on placement.

Where did you complete your work placement and for how long?

I am currently working one day a week at Gensler, an Architectural & Brand design firm, in their regional Birmingham office located in the Custard Factory. I have been working there since April 2017, under a brand associate.

How did you feel on your first day and what did you do to prepare?

Initially I was terrified, walking into an office with all these busy professionals going about their hectic work days, but I soon settled in and was made to feel welcome. In preparation, I fully researched the type of work the company did and the type of clients they work with.

What responsibilities did you have and what experience did it give you?

A typical day for me is a morning briefing on current and upcoming projects. I often get asked to read through any client feedback and assist on any amendments that are required or to help with creating new content. No two days are the same.

How important do you think it is for students to do a placement while studying for a degree?

Placements are so valuable! If you are lucky even to just get a week working or volunteering in your chosen area, it can really help with your career going forward. It gives you a taste of what it could be like to work in the industry and gives you the opportunity to see if it is what you expected! Having a placement has not only given me industry experience, but it has allowed me to develop as a young designer.

What top tips would you give to other students who are thinking of undertaking a placement?

Look at the areas of practise that really interest you and then begin researching local companies who work in that area. At this stage it’s the smaller studios that you are most likely to be more successful in gaining a placement at. For the bigger, and let’s be honest ‘the dream’ agencies, placements are normally awarded through entering competitions. Entering the competitions also gives you the opportunity to work on industry standard briefs and gives you the chance to have industry feedback.

In summary, research, knowing what area you want to work in, a strong portfolio targeted towards that area and confidence – you need to prove why you would be worth their time.

BA (Hons) Graphic Communication

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