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School of Science, Engineering & Design

Student views

Michelle Blackett

Product designer, Nifco UK

BA (Hons) Product Design

'I’m passionate about product design.'

Michelle Blackett

Once there, the facilities continued to impress me. And it was great being able to work on live project briefs with industry. The lecturers are extremely knowledgeable and workshop staff are always willing to provide project support.

Whilst studying at Teesside I completed a trainee management scheme at Sainsbury’s. I progressed from working part time at the Middlesbrough store to help fund my studies to taking a trainee management position at the Darlington Sainsbury’s. It was the final year of my degree and the workload for both was substantial.

After many long days studying and working, I completed my degree with first-class honours followed by my management training at Sainsbury’s. This spring boarded my career and helped develop my confidence, leadership skills and business exposure.

Just before graduating, my lecturer contacted me about a short knowledge transfer partnership working as a new product developer – it was a role I felt I could do. I started at Nifco UK in January 2011 – it’s a company producing plastic injection-moulded parts for the automotive market. The project involved researching potential new markets and developing products for them, with Teesside University’s support. We’re currently in the process of gaining trademark and design rights for one product, with a number of product concepts to follow in the longer term.

I now have a permanent product design role at Nifco UK, and I’m doing an MSc Marketing Management at the Teesside University Business School. I’ve gained so many new skills in the last year, meeting so many challenges along the way. I want to gain as much experience as I can at Nifco UK.