What’s after uni? Where Jordan took his Design degree

Jordan Domjahn had a packed uni schedule maximising international travel and work integrated learning internship opportunities. It’s no wonder then he was awarded the 2019 Graduate of the Year by the Design Institute of Australia.

Since graduating, Jordan has gone on to complete an amazing internship at BMW Group in Munich, Germany as part of an international collaboration project between QUT and BMW. The program allows students to have the amazing opportunity to work across a range of BMW Group departments, using cutting-edge emerging technologies such as VR, AR, robotics, autonomous systems, artificial intelligence and big data to develop world-first solutions to real world problems.

We catch up with Jordan to discuss this and how to get the most out of being a QUT design student.

Can you sum up what you have been up to since graduation?

I have just completed time as a Digital Design Intern at BMW in Munich, Germany. The projects I have worked on have included an interface design, CAD modelling and processing, material and texture creation plus some VR.

What made you choose this career/organisation?

The main reason I chose QUT’s Bachelor of Design (Industrial Design) was because I really enjoyed Graphics and Technology Studies during high school. Industrial design was the closest course at university to those subjects. As I learnt more about industrial design, I realised it was definitely something that I wanted to do as my career. It provides me with the ability to design solutions for real problems, all while enhancing experiences for people in a variety of situations.

I chose to pursue the internship at BMW because I saw it as a chance to continue learning and expand on my skillset and knowledge. I knew that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity I wouldn’t be presented with again, so I simply couldn’t say no. I was positive that the experience I would gain from this internship will be transferrable to the rest of my design career.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

One thing I particularly like about my profession is knowing that there is a large range of areas that can benefit from my skills. As an industrial designer I am taught to use a combination of theoretical and practical methods to solve complex problems, all of which are applicable to many industries and contexts. I also enjoy the wide variety of tasks I get to do, such as doing in-depth research and analysis, sketching my ideas on paper, sanding and painting a presentation model or setting up a project in VR and everything in between.

Aside from seeing the finished product of what I have worked on, I enjoy being a Digital Design Intern at BMW because of the challenges the job presents me with. These problems push me to think strategically and analytically, which helps me improve overall as an Industrial Designer. In addition to this, I have worked on/am working on some interesting and unique projects that I would have otherwise never had the chance to do.

Since graduating, Jordan has gone on to complete an amazing internship at BMW Group in Munich, Germany as part of an international collaboration project between QUT and BMW.

What are some of the major projects you have been involved in/career highlights to date?

A highlight of my career was recently being awarded the 2019 Graduate of the Year (GOTYA), by the Design Institute of Australia (DIA). I was awarded with:

  • Australian Design Graduate of the Year (Madeline Lester Award)
  • Australian Industrial/Product Design Graduate of the Year
  • QLD Overall Graduate of the Year, and
  • QLD Industrial/Product Design Graduate of the Year.

During my fourth and final year at QUT I was part of the team that organised INDEX.18, the 2018 Industrial Design graduate exhibition. While it was a huge commitment, it was incredibly rewarding as we received nothing but positive feedback about the exhibition from everyone who attended.

What are your future goals?

Wherever I am working (and whatever I am working on) I always want to be creating positive and meaningful experiences for people, while continuing to learn and grow as a designer. I have a huge passion for cars, so I would love to one day be working in the automotive industry.

What did you find most beneficial, or particularly enjoy about your experience at QUT?

During my studies at QUT I attended the 2017 Asia Studies Tour, a two-week trip to Hong Kong and Tokyo. This was an amazing experience in which I to see various design consultancies and universities.

In addition, we visited TTi (Techtronic Industries) headquarters and participated in a workshop with some of their designers. This was followed up by a tour of their manufacturing plant in China. (TTi designs, manufactures and sells power tools, outdoor power equipment and hand tools – to name a few. Subsidiaries include Ryobi, Milwaulkee, AEG and Hoover)

I also elected to do Work Integrated Learning (WIL). This gave me the opportunity to complete internships and start gaining industry experience prior to completion of my degree.

I am glad I chose this as I got to experience professional workplaces and get a taste of what design life will be like once I graduate from university. I did three internships as part of my WIL minor and walked away with industry contacts and several hundred hours of experience. I even gained employment at one of the companies I interned for.

How did your learning at QUT prepare you for career challenges or help you get to where you are today?

My studies at QUT gave me a good introduction to some of the common challenges I might encounter during my professional career. Being surrounded by great teaching staff for the duration of my studies was also a huge bonus, and certainly made my internship at BMW more achievable.

If you are interested in a career that will help shape future products, systems and services, QUT offers a Bachelor of Design (Industrial Design). Or you could choose one of six other majors or many double degrees within the QUT Bachelor of Design that will allow you to be immersed in a hands-on creative environment where you’ll focus on solving problems that are key social issues.

Or, if just like Jordan you want to travel overseas, immerse yourself in a different culture and be on pace with the design trends emerging in another country, the Bachelor of Design International might be for you. This degree combines the three-year Bachelor of Design with one year of international studies, giving you all the outcomes of the standard degree, including your choice of majors, plus the advantages of a flexible year of international studies. Destinations include the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Hong Kong, the USA and Canada.