What does your current role consist of?
I'm Director of Innovation and Business at Central Saint Martins. Innovation looks at how Central Saint Martins interacts with the world outside to develop new business ideas and products and find new solutions to a wide range of business and social problems. On the business side we run a large short course programme and a design consultancy which employs recent graduates. We also deal with a lot of different businesses that want to work with the College in one way or another, usually through interacting with students.
What did you do before you started at Central Saint Martins?
I’ve always worked in education. I started off teaching English in Brazil, then Poland, then went on to become an English Language teacher trainer. After running a language school for several years I ran a qualification awarding body. I joined Central Saint Martins three years ago.
What are some of the most interesting projects you have been involved in?
One of the most interesting opportunities in my role is growing the scope and reach of our professional training offer. Over the past few years we’ve developed training programmes internationally, running courses in Europe, South America, the Middle East and Asia. We hope to grow this part of our activity even more over the next few years.
The most interesting aspect of the overseas work is matching what we have as skills with the demands and expectations of local markets. When working with cultures that are different from your own there’s a distinct risk of mismatch. This can often be because the approach to teaching at Central Saint Martins differs from the style in other cultures, particularly Asia. It helps to have a detailed understanding of the client’s needs and an investment in the planning and preparation of the tutor before they even set foot in the workshop. We work hard to make sure the expectations and offer are as well aligned as possible while ensuring they still get that unique Central Saint Martins experience.
What excites you most about working here?
I’ve really enjoyed my introduction into the world of art and design and I’ve been impressed by the focus and drive of the students in particular. It’s a stimulating and exciting environment to work in and the interest in creativity both in the UK and worldwide is growing exponentially. I’m looking forward to being part of that!