Olivia Alexander, who came third in the Design Innovation in Plastics competition in 2018, has found a great job in the design industry and believes that her success made her application stand out when she applied for jobs.

Here’s what she says:

“I graduated from De Montfort University in 2018 and started working for Denroy Plastics Ltd, initially as a freelance designer in April 2019 and then as a full-time product designer at the end of the following June. 

Denroy is an injection moulding company based in Northern Ireland which has been operating since 1971 and caters to a wide range of sectors including medical, automotive, aerospace and defence.  I am mainly employed on new product development for one of Denroy’s sister companies, Denman International, which is an established haircare brand.  My role extends to working alongside the marketing team developing themes and prints for new editions of our current product range. 

Working for Denroy has been a great experience as I have developed my skills and knowledge by attending software training and observing the production of injection moulded pieces on the factory floor.  I am a member of a well-led and well-supported team and, pre-pandemic, attended professional hairdressing events, such as Salon International in London, an event which developed my role on the team and my understanding of our consumer’s needs. 

Being part of the DIP competition in 2018 gave me a confidence boost, both personally and in terms of the designs I produce.  Having my prize-winning design, BUZZ, in my portfolio made my application stand out when I was applying for jobs and was a great conversation piece at interviews.  I was able to demonstrate what I could accomplish in a week and how I could successfully develop a product further with feedback from the judges.  (My university course incorporated the DIP competition brief into our course, so we initially spent a week on the project and I then developed it further when shortlisted). 

Olivia is pictured with her DIP product, BUZZ, a bee-friendly planter, designed to attract bees to a garden while protecting them from the Varroa mite, which is capable of destroying whole colonies.   With her attention fully focused on her current job, she plans to re-visit her product in the future when she has more industry experience.

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