Each year, we have the privilege of hosting a Portfolio Reception Evening for our final year students. Traditionally, this falls in the last 4 weeks of our teaching year – just ahead of the students completing their work and submitting it all for assessment.
The event was held earlier this year due to a changing timetable at our end, the lateness of Easter, and was disrupted by the fallout of mindless Terrorist attacks, but was no less valuable for all involved.
The venue has (for many years now) been at the RSA Vaults building in central London, and our ‘portfolio evening’ is now affectionally known as ’The Vaults’ in the minds of the designers who attend each year.
It’s a significant time for a number of reasons – the opportunity for our burgeoning designers to rehearse talking about their work and respond to feedback from some of the UK’s leading agencies. It also allows industry the chance to see up-and-coming designers in their prime and to take the opportunity to build key relationships that lead to placements, internships and – occasionally, the first job offer.
Our course has always been based on the premise that – at the end of the day, both the design ‘industry’ and design ‘education’ is very much about people, with names and faces and stories to tell, and we have worked hard over many years to build connections & relationships that have weathered many-a-storm. We continue to value everyone who gives us their time and support each year, and this feeds directly into our students’ experience of studying with us, complimenting the regular support they receive back on-campus at University.
At the end of the day, the event is at it’s most rewarding at both the beginning, and end of the evening. The beginning, as you watch nervous faces anticipating the next four hours ‘Can I do this?’, ‘Will I make a fool of myself?’, ‘What if no-one likes what I’ve done?’, and then the end, as those same people are literally set-to-burst with the knowledge that they’ve been there, done it, and got the reward; ‘I can…’, I didn’t…’ and ‘They loved it…’.