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JamesMcKernan

Career Progression And Advice After Leaving Master's Early

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Hi all, first post here and hoping there are a few kind, compassionate souls out there to offer some guidance. Apologies for the length and if I’ve mistakenly put this in the wrong thread.

I graduated with a BSc in Product Design & Innovation from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow in 2015. At this point and under recommendation, I believed it would be in my best interest to study a Master's so I could specialise further and develop my skill-set and professional experience, while adding a unique aspect to my background and further material to my portfolio.

I was accepted to a two-year MFA in Design at Gothenburg University and as my application consisted purely of product/industrial design work along with my expression that my thesis would focus on producing consumer products, I would be allowed to explore such design in greater detail. Moving to a Sweden was also huge deciding factor as I felt living in a foreign country would be the unique and immersive opportunity I needed to expand my perspective, enhance my life skills and experience design culture with peers from all over the world.

I believed that, despite being an MFA, this Master’s would allow me to expand my knowledge and skills and I could explore different areas of design. The syllabus and recommendations led me to believe the course would allow me to build upon my own process of product development. The programmes and assessment became increasingly more focused upon the theories and methodologies of how design can influence societal changes, such as provocative exhibits and social experiments, as opposed to the process of designing and creating products. Ultimately, as the course progressed, I realised the dedicated skills and knowledge in product/industrial design from my BSc became non-essential and as a result underutilised. There was a growing realisation that the product development skill-set I had acquired through my Batchelor’s was diminishing.

I made the difficult decision to leave the course this February with the credits (60 ECTS) I had gained and moved back home to reflect and move forward. I have now hit a crisis stage as I'm struggling to find the work and projects to get me back into my original field and to use my skills and experience.

So I now possess a BSc, 60 credits towards a Master's and very little industry experience apart from a month's placement at a design studio in New Zealand in 2014.

I am reaching out for any advice the design community here may have in order for me to progress. In short; what are the best steps I can take to refresh my skills and get myself into the design industry from my current position?

Many thanks in advance for your input.

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