Meet Jock Boyd, a Success Coach for design students. His creative approach to coaching is meant to stimulate innovative thinking. He encourages students to take ownership of their own talents and strengths to live to their potential. The focus is always on the experience of the individual and the value that they get from my involvement in their learning journey.
What is a success coach and why are they important?
A Success Coach is a student’s go-to person. They will work closely with Academic staff, Campus Life and the Learning Support Team and help students to make sense of all of the experiences available, including keeping motivated throughout the course and helping them to develop work ready skills. A Success Coach has industry experience and can give students the inside edge on success in their chosen career. We coach online and on campus and ensure that students are connected, motivated and engaged.
What do you love most about your job?
The absolute best thing about my job is listening to a student’s story,
- Why they are studying,
- Where they are from and
- What they want to do next.
Then it’s my job to get them to understand how to get there.
Why do you think a success coach is valuable?
Coaches are an essential ingredient of a student’s journey; we are not employed to be nice or to look good, our involvement in developing a student’s talent is essential to their success.
Tell us about a student you coached and how you helped them grow and succeed?
Many students become very anxious when faced with their course outline or the assessments they need to do. They panic, they don’t know what to do first and they get stressed. Through coaching, I show them how they can become better students through their talents. Some students are trying to force a study method that just doesn’t suit the way they like to learn and when we work through their Top 5 Gallup Strengths they suddenly realise what drives them and how to leverage their Strengths into their academic experiences but also their professional careers.
What industry experience do you have?
I am actually a zoologist and have been part of the production team producing a number of books, including Birds of The World, Encyclopedia of Wildlife and even worked on the documentary series Mammals. Working with graphic designers, artist and filmmakers has given me an insight into the practical aspects of communication design. The network of people behind the book or the camera that helps build a narrative that allows communication of complex topics is both fascinating and engaging.
“In this age of social media, we are constantly comparing ourselves to everyone else, which can cause anxiety, stress and a feeling of worthlessness. When we learn about our Strengths and how to use them, we change our idea of success, realize that we are all unique, and achieve our goals in different ways.”
What does success mean to you?
Success to me is working in a team of likeminded people who have the drive and focus on helping students to achieve their goals.
What advice do you have for a student starting University?
The best advice I can give to any design student is get involved. Design uses all our senses and all our physical, mental and emotional abilities. The more we engage with new ideas the more students develop their own Design Thinking.
Why do you think learning about our innate strengths matters?
In this age of social media, we are constantly comparing ourselves to everyone else, which can cause anxiety, stress and a feeling of worthlessness. When we learn about our Strengths and how to use them, we change our idea of success, realize that we are all unique, and achieve our goals in different ways.
“The best advice I can give to any design student is get involved. Design uses all our senses and all our physical, mental and emotional abilities. The more we engage with new ideas the more students develop their own Design Thinking.”
What are your top 5 Strengths? How did learning your strengths help you?
Intellection – Input – Learner – Ideation – Strategic
My top five are all Strategic themes and I now realise it is the process that drives me. Exploring all the possibilities with my Intellection, learning as much as I can through my Learner and coming up with crazy ideas through my Ideation but I also need to create plans and deadlines to help me chunk up my tasks to stop me from procrastinating. My top five are great but understanding through coaching allows me to be in control of those talents so I can succeed.
What’s a quote that inspires you?
“In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.” – Lao Tzu
If you want to start a career in Design, we offer a range of courses at our school Billy Blue College of Design. Billy Blue is renowned for its pioneering spirit and high employability rate across a variety of design disciplines, including branded fashion, communication design, digital media design and interior design.
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