Pathway to design



Vanisha Tailor, a 2011 BA (Hons) Design Products Ravensbourne graduate who is now a junior designer at En Route International, has come back to Ravensbourne to tell us about her successful career at the company.

On both the strength of Vanisha’s success within En Route and Ravensbourne’s existing industry placement opportunity with Marks & Spencer, En Route invited Ravensbourne to take part in a placement competition they run with two other universities. Starting July 2015, En Route will guarantee a 1-year placement for one of our students in BA (Hons) Design Products.

As a designer Vanisha’s passion has always been packaging design. After graduating, she had the motivation to pursue a career in packaging by applying for jobs advertised online, networking, LinkedIn, etc. She eventually saw EnRoute advertise the job post in Design Week and was offered the job after an interview.

“It sounds easy”, said Vanisha, “but it took me one year to find this job. However, during the period when I was searching for a package design job I also worked for GlaxoSmithKline for one year and in that time I also kept working on my portfolio, and networked with many people inside and outside GSK.”

Having an up to date and high-quality portfolio is the key, as high-quality ideas are well-executed ideas.

Image1Being appointed a designer at En Route International is a fantastic opportunity for Vanisha. In her diverse role as a Packaging Designer she has the opportunity to work in all aspects of the design process, whether in research, design, prototyping, production and of course when seeing the product launch. Having joined the team only last year, Vanisha feels she has absorbed a whole new world of packaging and knowledge. With only seven months at En Route, she has worked on a number of projects, some of which are still in progress but many more which have been finished, produced, and launched.

“It’s important that students applying to Ravensbourne, as well as their parents, understand that we fulfil the promise of making our students employable. Vanisha’s example shows the full circle.” Said Nadine Bennett, Senior Associate Lecturer in BA (Hons) Design Products at Ravensbourne.

“My time at Ravensbourne was definitely the best period of my education”, said Vanisha. “Before attending university I wanted to explore other areas within Art and Design. I completed a diploma foundation course for one year allowing me to explore all my options. I found my work and interests related to product design, so my tutor at the time recommended I consider applying to Ravensbourne.” With experienced tutors and mentors Ravensbourne helped Vanisha understand design. The tutors taught Vanisha the importance of how it works within the design world. In her own words, the staff were always very encouraging, supportive and passionate.

Ravensbourne helped me find my passion through the collaborative project with Marks & Spencer, and when I completed the project I knew it was what I wanted to do after graduation.

Image2Jo Eaton, Industry Liaison Coordinator at Ravensbourne, worked with Vanisha over the course of her final term and then again once she had graduated to help her to develop strategies in searching for the right kind of work for her skills. Vanisha attended several one-to-one careers sessions with Jo where, together, they developed a job search strategy, giving her more confidence to approach companies directly for work as well as widening the net in her search for existing positions. “Having excelled in the Marks & Spencer packaging design project in her second year, Vanisha was working freelance but was looking for a full-time role and she gained confidence over the job search process eventually securing the role at En Route”, commented Jo.

We are very proud of Vanisha’s professional excellence and wish her all the best for the future!