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Higher Education Focus - Ben Wood

24th April 2013

Ben Wood is one of Calderdale College’s current HE students and is undertaking a Foundation Degree in Design Practice which covers a range of areas including graphic design, photography and illustration. In addition to his course, Ben has recently secured an Internship within the College’s Graphics Team after being recommended by his course tutor.

Ben was already at Calderdale College studying Art and Design when he decided to carry on to a Higher Education course. He explained: “I did one year of a two year course and managed to get the grades I needed to move on to a degree. The jump to a Uni level course was quite a big one so it made sense to stay here rather than going somewhere new.”

Choosing to stay at Calderdale College, which is the sole provider of high level qualifications in Calderdale and is a cost effective way of gaining BA Hons through academic studies with practical application was definitely the right choice for Ben: “I love it! [My course] is a chance to express myself as a designer. I can put my own spin on things and can really sink my teeth into the work…It’s also given me experience of working to specifications and deadlines, a chance to produce a portfolio,  and the qualification will show future employers I have learnt what I need to know to pursue my career.”

The College has also been a great choice for Ben: “I didn’t do too great at school, tried sixth form and didn’t do great there either.” This couldn’t be further from his experience of HE in Calderdale though, highlighted through him being recommended for an Internship. When speaking about his work in College Ben said: “My mum was thrilled with my standard of work compared with at school. It’s because it’s what I want to do. At Calderdale College there’s a lot more freedom for the individual, it allows you to push forward and enjoy what you’re doing. The courses have made me come out of my shell and make a lot more friends.”

Ben has already recommended his course to friends and is full of praise for his tutors: “They’re so helpful…strict in a positive way where they make sure you know your deadlines and are focussed on meeting them, but at the same time they always take the time to make sure you can use the software. They help you develop skills as a designer and as a person. I know this is corny but you should be yourself and say ‘this is who I am and this is what I do’. Do it for you not other people.”

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