Amanda Lucas is the Founder of Itchy Finger Design and Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Cube Digital Ltd. Amanda is a graduate of Digital Skills Academy’s BSc Honours in Digital Technology, Design and Innovation.
Before I started the course, I had set up my own business, Itchy fingers design. I did the course because I wanted to enhance my digital skill set and drive growth for my business.
Working with cross-functional teams was a big thing. I learned how to improve my communication skills and how to get as much out of meetings as possible. It was important that we looked to achieve our goals and maintained commitment to each other in the team. Each team member felt accountable in order to keep projects moving in the right direction.
I work well on my own, so from that respect studying online wasn’t a problem. A tool we all found useful was Slack. Slack was great and really helped us all feel part of a tribe, working together. Overall, I found the online working environment worked really well.
It was interesting, we worked with a cosmetics company based in Australia. It was a challenge because they were in Australia, but we were one of the teams that actually had the most regular meetings. We outlined and kept to the agendas. We designed a product, brand and packaging for them, including some items we hadn’t covered on the course, so overall it was an excellent experience.
We learned a lot about product design, and getting it registered - learned a lot about getting products approved and launched. They had good experience developing products but creating a brand from scratch was interesting.
I was in the Digital Design Stream. I specialised in creating an appealing brand. I had a lot of marketing and project management experience, so this helped with this side of the project too.
Initially, I had thought I’d do the PM route, but the mentor suggested that I challenge myself and do something different, so I changed to the Digital Design Stream. It was good to learn something new, and to understand how to present things visually to clients. Learning HTML and CSS was really useful in that respect. The programme was demanding but I was really glad I did it.
I set up Itchy Fingers Design in October 2014, a web design and digital agency while working full-time. I then signed up for the course after a few months and went working full time for myself. The course gave me the confidence and experience to develop end-to-end digital projects. It helped me from a PM side of things in terms of communicating milestones, communicating with clients effectively, being accountable and managing the amount of information a project needs, along with the design skills and theory needed to design everything from Apps to mobile websites.
I have also recently founded a company with Chris Mulvany who I met through doing the course. It is called Cube Digital and we provide digital solutions to businesses struggling with digital technology.
The course material was excellent and the tutors were really great. I’d also like to add that our mentor was a great help during our major project and really gave us the boost we needed at the end of the course.
To anyone considering this course, I would wholeheartedly say – do it! If the course subject is something you love, just get stuck in. It’s tough going sometimes, but truly rewarding when you are at the end of the journey and into a career path you love.