Eilidh Price graduated from the University of Dundee in 2014, with a degree in Product Design. She won the Young Innovators Challenge 2014 which is run by SIE on behalf of the Scottish Government. Her winning idea was ‘Glow’ – an early warning alarm system to detect low blood sugars in children with diabetes. She now works for Filament PD, a Product Design Engineering company based in Glasgow. We caught up with Eilidh to find out how she went from Young Innovator to a graduate career.
Coming out of University, the Young Innovators Challenge (YIC) was one of the best experiences that I could have asked for, and probably how I got my graduate job. It introduced me to the real world of design and business – which until then, I had chosen to bury my head in the sand about.
I learned a lot from YIC that I can apply to my job every day – for example patents and IP, available funding avenues and how to network. When it came to getting a job in the ‘real world’, I think the most valuable skill I learned was how to pitch an idea, as it boosted my confidence. I used to be terrified of public speaking – shaking, stuttering, even forgetting to breathe – which once led to me nearly passing out whilst standing at the front of a class…
This unhealthy cycle continued until University, when I realized something – I know what I’m talking about. It gets much easier when you remind yourself that this is your product, this is your idea, your dream. You are the most knowledgeable person to talk about this, so just tell people what you know! You also have to remember that it all happened in some sort of order, which helps when you come to pitching your idea because you can tell a story. You just need to structure your pitch to tell the story in the most effective way. Explain the process; where your inspiration came from, what the problem is, how you are going to solve it, you already know the answers.
Pitching gets easier the more you do it, so keep practicing. Remember to keep it short and sweet, and pause in between each ‘chapter’ of your story to let your audience soak up what you have said. And most importantly, please remember to breathe…
Learning how to stand up and pitch my idea really helped when it came to interviews. Similar to pitching a product, I was pitching myself. I told my story and how I could solve their problem and why they should choose me. The project I pitched at YIC was my most professional portfolio piece, so I took the prototype I had built with me and I pitched my project in the interview. I felt confident and that is invaluable when you are in an interview situation.
I am now studio manager at Filament Pd, and I love my job. We get a huge range of projects through the door, from multinational companies to local start-ups and SME’s. We offer a broad range of services to take customers from ideas to finished products and have had the pleasure of working with SIE Alumni, such as Amanda Day (All Day Designs), Michael Corrigan and David Kellock (Trtl) and fellow 2014 Young innovator Challenge winner Chris McCann (Snap 40).
Interested in what Eilidh and the team at Filament Pd are doing to help entrepreneurs? Visit their website – www.filamentpd.com.
Want to know more about how SIE can help you to get some all-important skills which are handy for securing a graduate job? Visit our website – www.sie.ac.uk.