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 designer, writer, curator and consultant Lynda Relph-Knight…
A journalist by background, Lynda Relph-Knight was editor of Design Week for 22 years. Now she works in design as a writer, curator and consultant. She runs student awards, linking with clients and consultancies, hosts quarterly dinners for designers of all disciplines and work on diverse projects with designers and design clients.
Hi Lynda, could you please tell us a bit about yourself – your background and interests?
I’m a journalist by background, with architecture and design as the focus for that work. I was editor of Design Week for more than 20 years so have an overview of design across disciplines and the people who form the creative community.
What do you hope to achieve through the scheme?
Mentoring is a 2-way street, I find. I hope my mentees have gained from my experience and connections, but I learn so much from them about the issues facing students and new graduates and enjoy building a one-on-one professional relationship.
What skills, experience and wisdom are you bringing as a mentor?
I have a rare overview of the UK creative scene and many overseas connections too. My writing and editing experience allows me to help mentees communicate their ideas and skills to prospective clients or employers and I can introduce them to people who might offer them work or take the next step professionally.
Why did you consider LCC for a mentor scheme?
I was approached by LCC to be a mentor and, then as a visiting fellow of UAL, saw it as a mutually beneficial way of fleshing out that role – and hopefully of helping emerging creative talents.
Why do you feel it is important for graduates to get industry knowledge and experience through a mentor?
We all learn from each other’s experiences. A mentor helps a graduate shape their expectations in light of their particular skills and the state of the marketplace and give them an edge in terms of confidence, presentation and connections. It brings a dose of reality to the graduates and guides them towards the most appropriate channels for their creativity.
How did you get started in the field?
I’m a journalist who fell into architecture then design by happy accident. People within both professions have helped me a lot along the way though.
If there was any advice you wished you had received when first starting out, what would it be?
Stay open to ideas and possibilities. You never know what journey awaits you. Just stick to your values, continue to learn and be yourself. ‘Dynamic drifting’ is the best phrase I learned – have a direction but don’t be so dogged about sticking to it that you aren’t open to change.