Teodora talks about her experience at Aston
She mentions that the universities staff and facilities supported her development as a product designer. Since graduating from Aston, Teodora currently works as a UX design consultant at IBM. Teodora felt inspired to study product design and management at Aston after studying many STEM subjects in high school and growing an interest into engineering. Her hobbies include drawing and painting so she wanted wanted to find a way to combine her creative side with her engineering side. Teodora states that product design and management was all that she was looking for in a course. She found that the business element of the degree was very helpful and was also happy to find out that the course incorporated engineering. One of the things that really helped Teodora during her time at Aston and now in her current career is a module that she took during her course which allowed her and other product design students to collaborate with engineering students on a team project that allowed them to not only to create their own product but to also work as a team. She says that this was the best module in her degree as it allowed everyone to showcase their skills and to also learn what it was like to be part of a team.
After graduating from Aston in 2019, Teodora joined IBM’s two-year graduate scheme, which ended in 2021, and since then she has taken on the role of a UX design consultant which means she focuses on the users experience at IBM and how to improve it. She works in a team of other product designers, developers, testers, and business managers. Teodora credits her time at Aston as part of the reason that she is able to pursue her dream career today. She recalls that the way product design is taught at Aston is why she was able to showcase her skills during interviews and also in assessment centres for the job. Teodora believes she stood out in her interviews because Aston taught her to focus on the users and the process of product design and not just the outcome, which is a value that is emphasised a lot at IBM
Remiscing on her time at Aston, Teodora recalls her first and last years being the best experiences. In her first year she met loads of new people from diverse backgrounds and felt very excited to begin a new chapter of her life. She also involved herself in many extracurricular activities such as volunteering and participating in societies, such as the dance society. When speaking of her last year at Aston, Teodora expresses the impact of being given the freedom to choose what she wanted to present at the design show that her and other design students were able to put on, and how it helped develop her skills as a product designer. Overall, Teodora states that Aston gave her so many opportunities to showcase her skills and meet loads of people. She made close friends and also had people to reach out and talk to and was able to explore societies and volunteering. She proudly says that “Aston is the place if you want to have fun and learn”.
Teodora’s advice to students who are thinking of studying product design at Aston is to do it! She says that the course is very beneficial and also there is lots of support and facilities to enrich and improve your studies. She also mentions that her course and Aston in general, is quite a diverse environment and she found it great to learn from others. Teodora states that Aston has “great facilities all around” and encourages people to study product design at the university.
To students who are considering pursuing a career in product design, Teodora advises you to think about “why you are doing what you are doing”. There are many aspects of product design such as physical design and digital design however Teodora emphasises the importance of the user no matter what path you decide to take. She believes that projects that you do at university and also in your career should be user-centric and should aim to fill any gaps in the market. She encourages students to always think about the user and it will guarantee that your products will be much better