Not just a number

Elena is one of 28 international students ready to experience the special approach the Kolding school has to offer

Design School Kolding has welcomed 73 new MA students. In English, naturally, because the 2016 class is a multinational class with one third of the students coming from far-away places such as Pakistan, Canada and Hungary and also close-by places such as Sweden.

One of the 28 MA students who has made it through the eye of the needle and has been accepted at Design School Kolding is Elena Stefanac from Canada. For her, the second time became the charm. She applied last years but was not accepted. This made her dig in her heels and work even harder to become accepted for the Industrial Design programme.

- One of the things that I did was to work very differently with my portfolio. I contacted a portfolio mentor and became aware that my portfolio was too broad and general. So I tried to create a vision, focus on selected projects and develop them further. I also took a class in chair design and was actually able to present a finished prototype in my portfolio.

In her job as a recruiter, Elena was also able to work on her CV when she was offered to start her own department that focused on creative recruitment of e.g. designers. She welcomed this opportunity and it helped her see how important it is to think about business development and business understanding when you design.

- Working with creative recruitment convinced me further that Kolding was the place for me. In Canada and the USA design is very much about being as creative and ‘wild’ as possible. Here, company collaboration and implementation is part of the training. And it is very important to me that you have a realistic approach when you design. Elena Stefanac has studied art and art history in Toronto and Oxford. She read about Design School Kolding in Domus Magazine – an internationally recognised architecture and design magazine that annually ranks the top 100 design and architecture schools in Europe. After comparing Design School Kolding to the other schools, her mind was set.

- What matters to me is the approach that Kolding has in terms of profession and people. There is a hands-on approach to design and a user-centered focus that appeals to me – and again the company collaborations. I look forward to working with sustainability, welfare design and play – topics that I know the school addresses with great dedication. In terms of people, I look forward to having an open dialogue with my teachers and fellow students and not just being a number like I was in Canada. None of the teachers there knew my name, she says.