Alumni Stories - Alex Hennessy
'I believe that the creative industry, regardless of the current pandemic, has the power to influence, whether it be intentional or not. Now more than ever, creatives are coming together and bringing light to important causes across the world.'
Name: Alex Hennessy
Current Career: Information Technology
Graduation Year: 2020
Discipline: Product Design
What career path did you want to follow as a child?
When I was younger, I always had an interest in how things worked and to take things apart. This led me into dismantling phones, laptops and larger machines. I always wondered what role would suit me best, but I also understood that I wasn't suited to highly technical jobs such as engineering.
Why did you decide to study at National College of Art & Design?
NCAD wasn’t somewhere that I had thought about or even heard of, until the second semester of sixth year. I went to one of the portfolio tutorials, and I remember being excited to hear about the program, as it had all the aspects of what I found enjoyable as a kid, in a course. Literally that night I submitted my choice to go to NCAD and to study product design. To complete the portfolio on time, I worked on it for two weeks straight.
How did you develop your career towards your current practice?
Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, I couldn’t follow my desired career of product design, but I took up a job that came as close to the path that I wish to take. My current role in IT has given me opportunities to educate myself, gain valuable experience with the inner workings of large companies, and pick up essential skills that I can translate to design such as programming, which I wish to bring this into interaction design.
What is the one experience during your time at NCAD that has informed you most in your work to date?
During my time in NCAD, I experienced the importance of working in teams, communication and relationships. At the beginning of my time there, I had believed that I could solve issues myself and work alone to get the best desired results. Of course, this isn't the case, but it is something that I think we all must learn at some point. We were encouraged to empathise with subjects of research and members of the team. From this I learned that everyone's opinion contains information of use, no matter how simple it is. If it is something you already know, it is still useful because it is further developing the importance of that information. Rather than a single experience, I believe it was an accumulation of many over years to form this important lesson.
If you were chatting with current NCAD students today what is the one piece of advice you would offer?
The way NCAD grading works is that it's all about your final year. A lot of time is spent doing work and playing catch up with other projects. I understand it's easier said than done; but put your energy into things that deserve it. If you put your head down, and balance work and recreational time, then it will most definitely pay off.
Given the global turmoil and change accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, what in your opinion are the opportunities for those in creative industries?
I believe that the creative industry, regardless of the current pandemic, has the power to influence, whether it be intentional or not. Now more than ever, creatives are coming together and bringing light to important causes across the world. Covid-19 has presented the opportunity of permanently working at home for some. For creatives, this means more paths have opened with larger clients to work remotely.
Portfolio Links: https://alexhennessy.myportfolio.com/
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