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  • Bharat Parashar

Reflecting Back

I feel happy and little sad also, now that this module is over. Experiencing the creative industries. This is designed to increase our project management skills and also create work which is of industry standards in the creative industries. There were live briefs that we have to choose from. Briefs were part of the D&AD new blood awards. So it was a live project. Sometimes it was stressful, sometimes very interesting but a good learning experience overall.

Now looking back at it I feel so happy that I chose Coutts Brief. In the starting, I was really worried that have I chosen a wrong brief. I had many questions in my mind like Is this the area I want to research about? Does this brief limit my creativity? Will I get bored and lose interest towards the end?. But fortunately, I don’t regret my choice at all. It has expanded my knowledge a lot and also gave me a project which I am proud to add in my portfolio.

This module improved project management skills by forcing us to work on a professional level. We had to meet weekly targets, we had to find key research insights, we had to make sure that our deliverables are in order and satisfy the brief and we also had to complete Agile project management(Agile PM) course. Talking about Agile PM, although it wasn’t as interesting as the rest of the module, the certificate is a good thing to have for the future. It ensures the employer that I have good project management skills and also is worth a lot in the market. As I have future aspirations of working in the UK, this certificate adds a lot to my CV.

Coutts was a name that I had not heard before this. In fact, I didn’t even knew how private banking works. Only thing I knew was that it is something that rich people do.

As Einstein said “The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

When I was reading all the briefs, there was something about Coutts brief headline ‘The New Wealth Tech’ that attracted me. I was curious to know more about them.  For some of the briefs, I thought of solutions while reading them only. But for Coutts, I found it difficult. Another reason I chose this brief was because of less competition. I figured out that very fewer people are going to go for this one, mainly because private banking doesn’t sound very interesting and is not a part of creative industries also.

This brief also took me in search of new and upcoming technologies. Earlier I didn’t know much about smartwatches. I didn’t like them. I thought that why people need a smartwatch when you have a smartphone with bigger screens. They are just good for notifications. But now, I know a lot more. Best smartwatch under £500? under £1000? Most expensive smartwatches right now? Just ask me. I also got to know about other things in detail like Augmented Reality, Mixed reality, smartglasses, etc. All tech giants have released AR development tools and are also working on AR glasses. Every major company from Apple to Mozilla, Facebook to Snapchat is heavily investing in Augmented Reality. With this amount of investment, the tech market is going to change in the next couple of years.

Mixed Reality is something that gives the best of real-world and VR/AR world. It combines the real world with an artificial world. Using it, physical and digital objects can interact in real time. According to Forbes Technology Council (2017), ‘Part of the reason mixed reality has garnered this momentum within such short span of time is that it promises to revolutionize how we perceive the world without necessarily altering our natural perspective’. Learning and researching these technologies made the brief very interesting. I used to watch many youtube videos about new concepts in my free time. After the submissions also youtube recommendation is filled with videos related to technology, new concepts, and reviews.

It was time to get creative. This was my favourite part of the brief. This brief was under the category ‘Product and Service design’. As I had made products digitally in the past, this was something I was familiar with and also I enjoyed doing it. During my freelance designing years in India, I used to design products and furniture digitally. I can do this for hours and never get bored. Time had passed when I last used these softwares, so I got a little rusty and took some time in the starting. But I got into the groove after some time. I designed many watches taking inspiration from some classics. As I wanted Coutts personality to reflect through it, I went for minimal design but with a Black theme to pitch it as technologically advanced. It should look like a high-end watch, with features of some of the best smartwatches.

There was no boundary in terms of features and services, so I added things like Bentley on call, Heli-on-call, to make it fulfills Coutts’s client needs. It was so interesting learning about the behaviors of HNWI. Where do they spend their money? What sort of experience they prefer? What are their needs from private banking and wealth management? This again expanded my knowledge a lot. In her articles on Forbes, Blake Morgan talks about how Millennials value experiences over anything. They don’t want to spend money on expensive things as they no longer dictate their class. They want rare experiences rather than things. They want to show off their lifestyle and not their expensive tech equipment.

As time was coming near for the D&AD new blood award submission, my solution began to take space. In the end, it was a private club called Coutts Privee which features Coutts timepiece and access to Coutts Privee Application. Coutts Privee application provides rarest of rare experiences to Coutts Clients. Although submission to the awards was not a module requirement, from the starting I was focused on doing it. I thought that if I have put so much time and effort into it, I should submit it for the awards also, I was very happy with my time management skills, as I didn’t had to rush in the end. I think it became easy because of all the weekly targets and an organized plan. Although I didn’t use the weekly planner I started at the beginning of the module, the weekly tasks and an overall plan of the brief were enough for me to get organized.

Another great thing about this module was how much it focused on professional development. I really learned a lot from the sessions on CV and Cover Letter. I was having problems building a CV.  It was a great experience to create a CV for a particular job and also practicing interview for it. I think this is a very practical and helpful element of this module. It gets you ready for the outer world. As I am on a placement year, this session helped me more. I made a CV and cover letter for a job I want to do, I practiced and interview for it and I also have been called for an interview by the company next week.

This module has transformed me from a student who is learning stuff to someone who is ready to go out in the world and ‘Do Something Great’ as Janja told us to do in her last class. I feel more confident in my project management and problem-solving abilities now. I have a valuable professional project under my portfolio, I have greatly developed my job hunting skills and also I am going to have a certificate of Agile Project Management Foundation. I believe in my creative skills as all a person needs is little confidence. As Tom Kelly(2013) says in his book ‘Creativity and innovation are like muscles – the more we use them, the stronger they get’

What more could I ask from a module. The last day was bittersweet. I was happy that the workload is over, proud of myself after giving the presentation, and a little sad because it meant the end of MACE classes. I will cherish this experience forever.

References

Acton A., ‘10 Einstein Quotes to Fire Up Your Creativity’, inc.com, Accessed on 23/04/2019, https://www.inc.com/annabel-acton/10-einstein-quotes-to-fire-up-your-creativity.html

Forbes Technology Council (2017), ‘Mixed Reality Will Transform Perceptions’, forbes.com, Accessed on 25/04/2019, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2017/12/15/mixed-reality-will-transform-perceptions/#99c545d78af6

Morgan B. (2019), ‘NOwnership, No Problem: An Updated Look At Why Millennials Value Experiences Over Owning Things’, forbes.com, Accessed on 23/04/2019, https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2019/01/02/nownership-no-problem-an-updated-look-at-why-millennials-value-experiences-over-owning-things/#1e7c7c3d522f

Kelly T. (2013), ‘Creative Confidence’, Willian Collins Publishers, London, UK