After her studies in Communication Multimedia Design (CMD) at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht Anne Zeegers followed the training Designer’s Identity.
After finishing my studies I didn’t know what to do next. CMD offers a very broad education, but pays little attention to professional roles or how you can work as an independent professional, although a lot of graduates start up their own business. From my internship I mainly learned what I did not want and there was little time for coaching and support. After graduating, I had no focus.
Taking part in the Designer’s Identity programme means you work with clients in a realistic setting. This way you can test your role in actual practice. You can discover which role suits you and which aspects of the work appeal to you most. A particular way of thinking is being taught to you, this involves Design Thinking. You try to step back, to have a completely open-minded and unbiased approach and ask yourself: will this really help? You try to ask all sorts of critical questions, without any context or control, without any prospects. For example a client asks you to design a particular app. Of course you can answer OK, and sit down to start designing it. But instead of doing that you can also ask your client: why do you want that app? Maybe you will end up designing something completely different in order to meet the clients needs.
The network I developed during the Designer’s Identity programme is invaluable. Thanks to my new connections I was given all sorts of opportunities and useful advices for my future. Almost everyone of my team stayed in touch with Fundamentals working as a coach and we still see each other regularly. For example at the Fundamentals network meetings, which are very useful and pleasant. One thing leads to another.
Jens Gijbels as a person is very important for Designer’s Identity. He was a sort of daddy for us, but a special type, one that joined us for a drink at the pub on Friday nights. When you talk to him you immediately feel full of new energy. He activates and inspires you, he thinks along with you and he asks you the right questions. It truly helps when you pause and ask yourself once a week: ‘Do I really want this?’ ‘What sort of person am I?’ ‘Which role suits me?’ Jens gets you on the right track. His expectations of us were high, but it didn’t feel like that at all. We worked more than fulltime during the course, but that was no problem to us. Why would you apply for the Designer’s Identity-programme anyway otherwise? It’s quite an investment, so you want to make the most of it. The outcome is different for each participant. You don’t necessarily have to be a designer. It could also be a furniture maker or a barista, for example.