Sponsored Student Projects Manager
What does your role consist of?
My role is the Sponsored Student Projects Manager in the Innovation and Business team at the College. Businesses approach us because they want to collaborate with talented students or graduates from CSM on a live commercial or industry focused creative brief to create fresh new ideas or innovative products.
It is a Business Development role and I am involved throughout the whole process. This includes identifying new opportunities, taking initial conversations with potential external partners or companies, working with the courses and academics to develop and plan how to design a project that is both academically stimulating and commercially focused, writing project proposals and negotiating the terms for the legal contract and ensuring successful delivery!
What are some of the most interesting projects you have been involved?
The diversity and range of projects is what makes this role so interesting – we’ve worked on projects with multinational groups, luxury brands, charities, local government and start-ups.
The Salvation Army Project stands out for me. CSM worked on two connected design projects: One Graduate Consultancy Project with BA Graphic Design whereby three graduates were briefed to re-design the clothing banks to reflect the extent and impact of the charities work. And the second, with BA Fashion: Knitwear students, who were briefed to reinterpret donated mixed fabrics from the clothing banks using traditional hand-crafts and techniques to create contemporary bold fashion statements. These projects aimed to draw attention to the charity’s work by demonstrating how donating unwanted clothing will help some of the most vulnerable people in today’s society.
Clothing bank design ‘The Measure’ encouraged user interaction, awareness and giving. Info-graphics display what the charity can provide through peoples donations: e.g. 3/4 full funds 35 weekly parent and toddler groups where disadvantaged children can play in a safe environment. For every donation made, small LED lights illuminate one-by-one as the bank fills up. Fashion students produced radical and progressive fashion looks presented at the CityPoint catwalk show to raise awareness for World Environment Day 2015 and exhibited at The Salvation Army’s shop in London raising the profile charity shops and targeting the younger generation to give and buy donated clothing. It was immensely satisfying to see how great design can directly impact on the work of the charity.
Is this your first role at Central Saint Martins?
I have worked at CSM since 2011, for the first year I was the personal assistant to the Director of Innovation and Business. Assisting the Director was a type of apprenticeship really, because it gave me the opportunity to gain a solid understanding of the enterprise and innovation strategies and approaches being employed by the University, gain great insight into the types of innovation and business projects undertaken at CSM and meet many people from different departments across the organisation.
For the next three years I worked in a role where I was managing Graduate Consultancy Projects, before getting a new job this year as Sponsored Student Projects Manager.
What did you do before you started at Central Saint Martins?
I completed a Masters in History of Art at the University of Leeds in autumn 2011 and graduated with a distinction. I specialised in contemporary art theory, aesthetics and politics and I really enjoyed reading and writing about stuff ranging from the artist Julie Mehretu's mega paintings of complex city spaces to Buddhist sculptures at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
I also travelled a bit, through South East Asia and I spent six months volunteering at a school in south India. When I was doing my undergraduate degree I spent a year studying abroad at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
What excites you most about working here?
It is an incredibly privilege to be able to work with creative and multi-disciplinary students, graduates and academics from CSM. It is very exciting to witness how fresh, creative thinkers respond to a brief set by an industry partner and to see the types of original and innovative outcomes that can be generated. I am often completely wowed by the results - as are the clients that we work with.