By Natalia Shirokova, MA Graphic Branding and Identity (GB+I) & Grant Rose, Course Leader Graphic Branding and Identity (GB+I)

Postgraduate Graphic Branding and Identity students from 2017/18 and 2018/19 came together with the ambition to knowledge share, gain experiences, advice and support. The LCC Graduate Student Fund was an opportunity for networking— enabling students that are in their last term to impart their wisdom to students in their first term and welcoming them to the community at the same time.

The event took place in October and was an ideal opportunity to have a meet and greet evening as a combined celebration and welcome. In total 60 students from 2017/18 confirmed along with 82 from the 2018/19 cohort and four academic staff were invited too. The whole day was dedicated to welcoming new students with talks, inductions, tours and the welcome party in the evening coupled welcoming back current students to their final term. Finally introducing both cohorts to each other to build a wider richer community. All four staff members came along and 76 students came to the welcome party.

Here’s a few messages from those the students who attended the social evening with Natalia and Grant:

. . . people were enjoying their drinks and having chats for quite a long time (3 hours is long enough). I remember myself being an incoming student one year ago and that event helped me a lot at the time. The communication between those starting the course and the graduates seems crucial to me – what could be more helpful than advice from a person who already went through something that you’re just starting? So I hope that this tradition will go on – at the end of the day, socialisation is very important in the uni’ environment and we should use all opportunities to help it. Many thanks to LCC Graduate School for sponsoring. . .

 — Natalia Shirokova

… Attending the event last Monday was a really constructive thing in every possible aspect. In the first place I found myself really relieved after talking with the older students, not only for the positive things they told us about the course, but mostly for their attitude, their optimism and their passion talking about what they were studying for a year and (for someone sadly) about to finish soon. 

What for most of them was important to highlight was our needs to experiment without the fear of failing, or the fear of doing something wrong or useless, things that also you said, but of course hearing this from them was in a way more effective. 

Furthermore, and not less important, was really nice to grab some (free) beers all together and make new friends in a nice and chilled environment, where there were no differences between teachers and student, a thing that’s really unusual for an Italian student like me. Thanks a lot [Grant and Natalia], hope there’ll be some other occasions like this in the future!

 — Serena Fanelli

. . .I found the welcome night with the last year students really interesting under many perspectives. First of all, the whole mood and approach of the night (with food and drinking) was really friendly and easy going, which allowed me to feel much more relaxed about my first day of uni’. This was for me also a really good occasion to understand how to actually approach tutors: during my bachelor in Italy there was not that much confidence with my professors – except a few of them – and finding myself talking with you [Grant] so casually made me understand the type of freedom and independence that I have to apply not only during this kind of occasions but also across the whole process of this master.

Talking with the previous year students was of course really useful, not to be told what to do but more about the way to face things and deal with problems.

I spoke to 6 or 7 of them and the general first thought that came out of their heads was a diffused and chronic confusion about what they were doing/going in the first stages followed by a series of moments of “eureka!”: knowing that is already helping me a lot, considering my actual situation.

Moreover I’m still in contact with one of them so it was also a great opportunity to meet new people (thanks for that!)

— Alice

I am very glad to attend the welcome party. To be honest, I felt a little restrained at first, but after a few seconds I felt better and I made some new friends. Besides, I have known something about our course from the students who have studied for one year. . . .Thank you so much!

— Mengyuan Wen

I really enjoyed the welcome party with students from last year’s course. It was truly a great opportunity to ask questions and advice.

I loved hearing about their major projects and the main piece of advice I got from a few students, to enjoy myself and to embrace the uncertainty, has helped me a lot these first few days, since the course has started. 

Hopefully I will be as helpful to future students next year.

Thank you for making this event possible.

— Lucie

I really enjoyed this event. It’s a good chance to meet senior students. We talked about how they manage the final project. They gave us the outline of student life. For me, it was the first day to meet my new classmates. Sometimes, I was too excited to talk with my new friends, not join the conversation with senior students.

— Yi Chia 

I really like the welcome party. I got many useful information from it. I really appreciate and looking forward to more events like this.

— Meilin 

Thank you very much for organising last week’s Monday meeting for us. 

That is very helpful and I have learned a lot from both the current classmates and the senior students, which gave me an approximate blueprint for my coming year and I hope that I could make good use of the short year to gain what I want. Anyway, this experience is so precious and memorable and thank you so much!

— Xiaoxi Sun (Chelsea)

I was impressed by last week’s drinking reception. For me it was an experience I had never experienced in college. I think it’s a good beginning, and in the conversation we can get a lot of experience from upperclassmen about how to learn in the next year. So thank you very much for hosting this reception.  

— Jun Luo

I think it’s good to meet with the students of the last class, which can help us absorb more information about MA. Also makes us better adapt to the life of the school. Thank you.

 — Wenxian Jiao 

Thank you for giving us an opportunity to meet and talk with current students. This is a very good event. We discussed some information about the curriculum and some different learning methods. We also discussed some details about future work. Through this opportunity, I met many new friends and learned more about the subject of graphic branding and identity.

— Han

The MA Graphic Branding and Identity course historically benefits from large numbers of international students. Qualitative feedback has often noted students from different cultures and languages find it difficult to integrate and make friends in the inertia. This simple idea is to create an informal and enjoyable space for students and staff to mix and socialise building confidence and empowering students new and old to form personal and professional relationships.

— Grant Rose, Course Leader GB+I