As part of our ongoing commitment to industry-focused creative education and ensuring our graduates are prepared for the Design, Media and Screen industries as soon as they graduate, London College of Communication welcomed 50 experts through the Industry Mentoring Scheme.
Part of LCC Graduate School, the Industry Mentoring Scheme aims to encourage and support postgraduate students in their transition from education to industry, matching postgraduate students with industry professionals.
With the industry experts ranging from leading designers to photographers, top journalists to branding experts, and more, we decided we’d catch up with a few of the mentors to find out a little about them. Here, we sit down with Head of Creative at MGA Ideas Colin Goad…
Having graduated from LCC in 1996, Colin has worked for many of the leading publishing agencies in London and has since moved into a more branding and integrated comms field. Over his 21 year career he has worked for companies including Coca-Cola, Kia Motors, BHF and the Ministry of Defence.
Hi Colin! Can you tell us a bit about your background and interests?
I graduated from LCC in 1996, when it was still called London College of Printing (LCP). This was when my passion for typography was really formed under the tutorship of Dave Dabner. My career since leaving LCC has seen me work across annual report agencies, leading magazine agencies for clients like Barclays, launching the first customer banking magazine and overseeing the development of the Heart Matters magazine for the BHF. I now tend to specialise in integrated campaigns, mostly for large blue chip companies to connect with their staff.
In my time outside of work I enjoy the mentoring of graduates from the LCC, raising money for charities through various walking events alongside my wife. Visiting exhibitions and taking in the design that is all around us through walking around London with our little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
What do you hope to achieve through the scheme?
My view has always been that as an industry we need to do more to support the next generation of designers, and through the LCC mentoring scheme I believe that the scheme can help me facilitate this. I would like to think that I am helping provide LCC with industry knowledge that helps supplement the development of their students. I also would like to think that my mentoring will extend beyond the course and be someone my mentees can call upon throughout their career and who knows, hopefully work with in the future!
Why did you consider LCC for a mentor scheme?
A simple one to answer – LCC has always been close to my heart having graduated from there in 1996, my dad also graduated from the LCP so a real family connection. And I believe that it’s important to put something back into LCC after the platform they provided to me for my career, and so help the next generation of designers. This helps build what I see as vital to the development of our industry, a stronger link between agencies and colleges.
What knowledge or advice do you hope to share with your mentees?
I think the knowledge of how you work within an agency, the atmosphere, the client relationship, the different roles that exist within an agency and how you collaborate with them all to help create a piece of work is essential. How you present your work, and also, most importantly how you take on board feedback and not lose sight of the main objective of a brief. I think the pace of an agency and the many demands of deadlines and budget constraints is hard to grasp for a recently graduated designer so advice on how to manage them and still be creative is an essential piece of advice.
One of the best pieces of knowledge anyone could ever share to a newly graduated designer is, always question the brief, never don’t ask questions and always learn about your clients. The more you understand and work with your client the better the outcome of the brief will be.
Why do you feel it is important for graduates to get industry knowledge and experience through a mentor?
I think it’s really important for graduates to get industry knowledge and experience through a mentor as the mentors are working in the industry every day and have a vast amount of experience, not just on the ‘practical issues of how you use InDesign’, but also insights into the nitty gritty of the industry, for example, how do you deal with your first big presentation. How to build that client relationship, how you learn to have confidence in your design and perhaps most importantly, learning how to build that confidence when feedback can sometimes seem personal.
What might postgraduate students gain from partnering with a mentor?
Often postgraduate students have come from a different industry, some creative, some not. I think that the mentor can help these postgraduate students transfer some of the skill sets that they have learnt and understand that there is often a lot of crossover in terms of skills and how they approach a project. My belief is that everyone is creative and has something to offer in the design world and this should be nurtured and encouraged.
How did you get started in the field?
When leaving LCC I worked at Radley Yeldar and then worked my way up through different agencies, working out along the way what area I wanted to work in. Building up contacts and networking is an important part of the industry and people you meet in your first job could become clients or work colleagues later on in your career.
If there was any advice you wished you had received when first starting out, what would it be?
Always ask questions, take your time and remember that you will always learn something new each day and no matter how long you have been in the industry something will always inspire you!
Find out more about LCC’s Industry Mentoring Scheme.