Prachi Payal

Prachi is standing up and holding her degree certificate
Country / region
Graduated from
National Institute of Fashion Technology, India

Prachi Payal completed a master’s degree in Design Innovation Management at Loughborough University London in 2021.

Before studying at Loughborough University London, Prachi completed a bachelor’s degree in Textile Design at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in India. Having now also accomplished her master’s degree, Prachi is currently undertaking further study in user design experience to help her chase her desired career in design thinking. 

My journey to Loughborough University London

Tell us about your journey to Loughborough University London. What were you doing before?

Previously, I studied Textile Design at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Patna, India. The learning content on my course mostly consisted of designing and developing fabric, fabric prints, embellishments and exploring subsequent products for textile use.  
During a semester exchange opportunity at Saxion University of Applied Sciences in Enschede, Netherlands, I studied Textile Engineering and Management. It was at Saxion University that I developed an appreciation for and interest in design management. My time at the University also influenced my decision to go on to pursue a course in design management.  

Why did you decide to go to Loughborough University London?

During my semester exchange, I became drawn to how management subjects were taught in Europe. The course I undertook helped me to understand the practical application of management. It also supported me in gaining an everlasting understanding and appreciation for good management and I wanted to learn more about this by pursuing a master’s in Europe.
Loughborough University London, for me, provided an excellent overall study platform. Their ranking in the UK and globally meant it kept coming up at the top of every search engine when I searched for courses. Also, the curriculum designed for the Design Innovation Management MSc course solidified my decision to study at Loughborough University London.

Did you have an idea of how the Loughborough University London programme would help you in your career?

I had wanted to learn more about sustainability and had hoped that studying the Design Innovation Management MSc course could help me with this. Studying modules such as Design Thinking, Design Research and Design Futures have helped me to understand how we can try to tackle current problems and solve them using design and innovation. 

How my scholarship supported me

What scholarship did you receive and how did you obtain it?

I received 20% off my tuition fees and the scholarship was awarded based on what I filled out on the Loughborough University London application form. Some of the information that I had to include in it was my educational background, work experience and my statement of purpose (SOP). 

How did your scholarship support you?

I had initially planned on taking a student loan to help with paying my fees. However, receiving the scholarship meant that I was able to avoid taking a loan and could fund the degree myself.

What advice would you give to other students who wish to gain a scholarship?

My advice for students who wish to gain a scholarship is to make their SOP as cohesive as they can with their educational background, work experience and any other projects that they have going on. In my opinion, the SOP can act like a professional journal. In it, you can talk about the experiences you have had, how they have impacted the way you think or act and how they have led to your decision to apply for a specific course.

My student experience at Loughborough University London

How has the teaching in your institution at Loughborough University London helped further your knowledge of your subject?

I had previously studied Textile Design which didn’t include much in terms of management, research and user experience. Designing is most often seen as a creative field and studying Design Research for my master’s degree helped me to understand the importance of research while designing. Learning to create personas, user journey maps and identify people’s pain points helped me to know how to establish and understand users. Gaining this knowledge means I can better connect with users and empathise with their wants and needs. All-in-all, learning how important research and user experience is while designing was a wonderful experience for me. 

What interesting things did you learn? Was there a particularly good project that you participated in?

Design Thinking, Design Research and Design Futures were the most valuable modules I undertook while studying at Loughborough University London. In Design Futures, we had to work on a group project. This project allowed me to understand that, through design research, design thinking and analysing data and trends, we can help to build a better and sustainable future. 

Please tell us about any support that you received from your institution’s mentors.

All the institute’s faculty staff and mentors were great. Professor Mikko Koria was always wonderful and willing to talk, listen and provide support, even if we met in the hallway. My dissertation mentor, Mr Tsuyoshi Amano, was so helpful and supportive throughout my collaborative dissertation project. Mr Amano had always been present and would sometimes initiate dialogue with the company I was working with so that I could get the relevant response or information faster.  

What did you think of the social atmosphere on the campus and what was your experience of living in London?

The social atmosphere on the campus was very good and everyone was really friendly. We had a lot of meet and greets and other socials which helped us to talk to other people.  

London is such an amazing city to live in. It is so diverse and has something for everyone. As an international student, I spent most of my time just exploring the city with my friends. We saw all the famous landmarks, explored the diverse art scene, shopped and tried the food markets. Some of the most amazing experiences I had were exploring the various pop-up installations that are a common occurrence in London, as well as the many immersive exhibitions. 

What piece of advice would you give to prospective students looking to undertake the programme that you studied?

In my opinion, the Design Innovation Management MSc course is a very collaborative course. I feel that students wishing to undertake this programme should be willing to collaborate and be enthusiastic about working in a team, and then everything will be great. 

How my degree has helped me

What has your career path been like since you graduated?

Since graduating, I am currently focusing on improving my knowledge further by studying a course in user design experience.  

How do you think your Loughborough University London degree helped you to get to where you are?

Loughborough University London has given me so many possibilities for the future. The modules and the projects I participated in have helped me realise what I want to do in the future and the career path I want to take.  

Plans for the future

What do you plan to do in the future and how will your Loughborough University London degree help you to achieve that?

I am hoping to work as a Design Thinker in the future and my Loughborough University London degree can help me to achieve that. Design Thinking was one of my favourite modules during my studies at Loughborough.

Why do you think prospective students should choose Loughborough University London?

Loughborough University London provides a supportive and helpful environment for all. As all the students come from different cultures, Loughborough University London provides a diverse community, so it’s an especially good environment for an international student. The faculty members and staff are always available, helpful and supportive. The University also provides various assistance, such as academic tutors, English tutors and more, to help students with their studies. All the support provided by the University was always helpful during my master’s degree.  

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