July’s profile is Jonathan Bree. Jonathan graduated in 2013 with a BA in Industrial Design & Technology. He is now a Supporting Industrial Designer at LEGO, Denmark.
From a young age, I have been interested in design – taking apart household items, trying to improve them and see how they worked, much to the joy of my parents. At sixth form, I studied Product Design, Art, Psychology and Media. This helped me focus and refine my interests and Industrial Design seemed like a perfect fit – part art, part science, balancing form and function. Loughborough’s reputation, as one of the leading design universities and strong links with industry, drove my decision to study there. Loughborough provided a great chance for personal growth and I joined the Hazlerigg Rutland committee, started my own t-shirt company, and took up several new sports in my time there. I also spent the third year working in industry, designing branding and packaging for the major spirits brands.
Where are you now?
I am currently working at LEGO HQ in Denmark, designing the concept and experience of the LEGO ‘House’ Project. The House experience will consist of a series of interactive exhibits and activities in an equal balance between play, learning and creativity, to showcase the ‘hands on, minds on’ play of LEGO. It is expected to draw 250,000 visitors per year.
How did you get there?
I found out about the position at LEGO through my department’s career emails, which asked for a portfolio of work to be sent to the department head for short-listing. I was lucky enough to be selected, and a month later I had a Skype interview. My placement year also greatly helped with finding a job after graduation by giving prior experience in a design and project management role.
Where are you going?
I have recently been accepted onto the Telefonica/O2 Graduate scheme and will start work in September, which I am very excited about. I will be focused in the area of design and innovation and have the opportunity to choose my own role. Over the course of two years I will work in different areas of the business, including Wayra, the technology start-up accelerator.
What advice would you give now to a student studying your subject at university now?
Structure your time well, make plans and stick to them. I recommend doing a year in industry, I found it very helpful. Lastly, when lecturers say final year is a lot of work, they are understating it – prepare as much as possible
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