I recently headed back to where my design journey began, Farnborough College of Technology (FCOT). While I was attending the annual family day it struck me it had been 12 years since I graduated with a bachelor’s degree. Where has the time gone!?

While there, I was approached by my old lecturer Matt Corvis. He asked if I would be interested in delivering an industry chat and to set a live brief to design students. It seemed a bit of a scary idea, but I felt extremely honoured to be asked. It was the perfect opportunity to give back to the college that had enabled me to work in the industry I love so much. If there was a chance that I could inspire or encourage just one of these young future designers, then it would be so worthwhile.

Not much has changed at FCOT and G Block is still the hub of creative energy. But for a more sophisticated security system and the new university block, it felt just like it did back in 2012. There was also of course the small fact that I am no longer a student and was there to present to aspiring designers!

As I stepped into the classroom, I was shocked to see the class was 90% female. How times have changed. Huge kudos to the amazing work over the last few years to help support women in getting careers in the STEM industry.  As a mother to three girls this was so refreshing and something that makes me feel confident that my daughters, niece, or any of their friends will be able to pursue a career in whichever industry they wish.

I began the session with a brief background about myself and my journey so far. I then set a live brief which would see the class split in two. They would then pitch their designs and ideas to the rest of the class.

I was amazed by the effort, enthusiasm and more importantly the output that was presented. What an amazing array of talent in one class. These are fresh eyes to design and there were so many exciting new ways of thinking.

To also see such confidence in the presentation skills was amazing. It can be such a daunting process, but all the students held themselves brilliantly. They used some inventive ways to present ideas and help overcome the nerves and anxiety that some people suffer from. I certainly wish I had thought of these methods back when I had to present at college! The future looks so bright I can’t wait to see where all the students go from here.

Reinforcing how much opportunity there is within both the design and tech industries was brilliant and I really enjoyed heading back to FCOT. I can’t wait to do more of these talks and workshops in the future. It’s a great way to give back to the people that helped and inspired me to get where I am today – and the perfect chance to make some new connections!