Mark Chester was one of our Postgrad Solutions Study Bursary winners in 2018.
Now that he has finished his MSc in Industrial Digitalisation at Manchester Metropolitan University we decided it would be a good time to catch up with him and find out about his experiences as a postgraduate student.
“Similar to many other students, I was unsure that studying a masters degree was the right thing to do, leaving it until the very last minute to apply to Manchester Metropolitan University. Even though I knew the facilities and MSc course at MMU PrintCity were exactly what I required, I was unsure what I would get out of the course. Especially because I had worked freelance for a year after finishing my undergraduate degree, I didn’t want to part with my hard-earned money. Now upon reflection, I’m not sure why I made such a big deal out of applying.
Over the course of the year I was able to experiment with a variety of new 3D printing and modelling technologies, which has enabled me to develop as a designer. The special thing about the MSc course in Industrial Digitalisation at MMU PrintCity is the fact that everyone comes from a different background. The combination of students from textiles to animation was something I hadn’t come across anywhere else. Coming from a product design background myself, the multi-discipline approach helped to understand sectors I would never have investigated on my own. Having hands-on access to a wide range of 3D printing equipment has also taught me about maintaining and repairing these machines, something which is extremely valuable in industry.The main difference I found between my undergraduate and masters degree, is the opportunities that arise. At MMU PrintCity the number of businesses that visit on a weekly basis enabled me to gain experience from a variety of clients. The opportunity to do my dissertation in collaboration with a major sports footwear manufacture provided a fantastic opportunity to develop my skills and will help me to further progress within industry.
MMU PrintCity provided an incredible environment, which enabled me to freely experiment with different technologies. I produced a unique bench concept with the technology which gained popularity via social media. This resulted in the bench currently being manufactured, in addition to a tour around Autodesk’s facilities around the USA. I’m now also preparing to present a workshop on footwear design at Autodesk University Las Vegas. These opportunities would not have arisen without the supportive environment that the masters provided.
Two months before the end of my masters I started a full-time position with the Manchester Business Growth Hub as the Innovation Development Manager, helping businesses to innovate through new technologies such as 3D printing – a role that I would not have been suitable for without the masters degree. Furthermore, the Postgrad Solutions Study Bursary helped to fund the travel costs to PrintCity, which was a major concern of mine. The bursary enabled me to focus on the masters instead of worrying about the financial cost.
Overall the course was a lot of hard work but was completely worth it. If you’re considering doing a masters degree, my advice would be to just do it. Invest in yourself to step up onto another level.