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Master's degree leads alumna to role with leading design university

Isha Patel

Brunel was my first experience of living in a different continent, amongst people from countries I had only seen on the map. The Brunel experience made me more humble, open minded and changed my approach to life.

Isha, Alumni, Postgraduate

Design Faculty and Associate Director of International Partnerships, ATLAS SkillTech University (formerly ISDI Parsons, Mumbai)

Design and Branding Strategy MA - 2018

From India

Previous Institution

India,MIT Institute of Design - Communication Design BDes

Tell us about your educational and/or career journey since you graduated from Brunel?

I had an immersive, insightful and experiential year at Brunel with friends I made for life. I had to move back to India due to my lack of an employment visa as an impact of Brexit. However, I joined Landor as a Design Researcher and Strategist and then moved on to work in a faculty at a leading design university in India. I taught and mentored over 200 students across undergraduate and postgraduate design studies focusing on subjects such as design research, branding, strategic thinking, thesis / dissertation writing, and internship guidance. I am currently studying for an MBA at the University of Westminster and have been promoted to Associate Director to liaise on international strategies with partner universities in the UK and Europe.

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

It involves preparing for class and meetings, teaching for 3 - 4 hours, sometimes even 6 hours. Other days it is liaising with international partners and communicating in meetings and on Zoom.

What’s been the highlight of your career journey so far?

There have been two highlights of my journey, Firstly, I realised networking is key in my industry. To grow, maintain and indulge in larger groups within the community is essential for keeping inspiration high, being up to date and building connections with people. Secondly, there is always something to learn, observe, absorb, and share. In my experience, observing habits, situations and personalities is key to make insightful decisions and ensure that I share it with those who could use it for their own growth. Sharing helps me grow my knowledge. Having students come back at the end of the year and realise how me sharing something they struggled with from personal experience had an influence on their decisions. It made a difference to them, even without my deliberate intention of doing so. Hearing how I touched them was the gratitude I earned - more important than just salary.

How would you say your Brunel experience has helped you to get where you are today?

Brunel was my first experience of living in a different continent, amongst people from countries I had only seen on the map. The Brunel experience made me more humble, open minded and changed my approach to life.

Why did you choose to study at Brunel and why would you recommend Brunel to others?

I have advocated Brunel to over 12 students in the last few years. I chose to study at Brunel as the course seemed a perfect fit for me, the costs were affordable, I was offered a scholarship, and the campus seemed a good experience.

What is your best memory of studying here?

The bonding activities, the Tuesday night karaoke, Friday night parties, opportunities to interact with industry and the Made in Brunel exhibition. And I met the love of my life!

If you could give one piece of advice to current Brunel students, what would that be?

Brunel offers a lot more than just a degree. Make the best of it! It has every opportunity you need to grow personally, socially, and professionally.

What would be your top tip or key advice for new graduates as they begin their career journey after leaving Brunel?

Use the resources Brunel provides - the career sessions, counselling, fairs and employment exhibitions. They help you make decisions about your future. Connect with as many people as you can.

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