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Would you like to help inspire the next generation of designers?

'Design Buddy' is a unique mentoring scheme for design students throughout the South West, created by Design South West, with the support of Universities South West and National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship.

Now in our 6th year of running Design Buddy, this year's cohort is a group of 2nd year graphic design students at UWE.

More than 100 students have received one to one mentoring from senior designers, creative directors and agency owners from Bath and Bristol. As a result, all the students experienced real studio life, were able to receive specific feedback about their work, gained a deeper understanding of what's really needed in the industry, made new contacts and grew in confidence.

"Design Buddies continues to provide students with valuable real world experience. Design Activity had a great student this year who used us to the max. She has gravitated to London where she is being courted by world class agencies. We are proud to have helped her achieve this and are looking forward to our next experience", Pat Starke, Creative Director, Design Activity.

"The scheme has given me more confidence to speak to professional designers about my work which is crucial as design is essentially about communication", Yee Poon, UWE student 2016.

"Everyone I met through the scheme was very friendly and helpful, offering professional creative advice. This has helped me build confidence in talking through my work, which I'm sure will come in handy for potential interview situations", Lucy McArthur, Design Graduate 2013, Bath Spa.

"The Design Buddy Scheme was a great experience and I would definitely recommend anyone to take part if given the chance. I think more Universities should take part in the scheme as it has helped me to develop in variety of ways. I couldn't have ask for a better design studio to be paired up with, the scheme was so well organised and structured thinking of the care and needs of the students", Jordan Wright, Design Graduate 2013, Bath Spa.

"The experience has been amazing - it's really opened my eyes to the industry and how I can develop my work and networks", Kate, Design Graduate 2011, Bath Spa.

"What really worked for us was having three students work with three of our designers, so it became part of their own professional development to expand their coaching skills and to refine how they talk about their work", Alexandra Shallish, Design Director, Studio Six.

So what's involved?

All you have to do to become a Design Buddy is to commit to four, one hour sessions with a design student over the course of the academic year. It's fun, you develop your coaching skills and you get a real sense of giving something back, as well as seeing what's happening on design courses. 

Design Buddy from West of England Design Forum on Vimeo.

For more information, drop us an email and we'll get in touch.