Allround design studies at HMKW: Interview with graphic design student Emilie Fehse

The Berliner Emilie Fehse devotes herself to her graphic design studies with great enthusiasm as well as a good portion of curiosity. Her studies give her the opportunity to delve deeply into the various subfields of design and explore them. In this interview, she talks about the projects she enjoyed the most so far and tells us why and to whom she would recommend the study program.

What comes to mind when you think about your studies at HMKW?

What comes to mind is how nicely I was welcomed. I think about how friendly and familiar the atmosphere is and about how much I enjoy the lecturers' honest interest in good teaching and a close relationship with the students. All questions are given space and there is always someone who can help in a competent way, because the education here is as practical as possible.

Why did you choose the "B.A. Graphic Design and Visual Communication" degree program? And why did you choose HMKW Berlin?

Creativity, expression and design have been with me all my life, but I never wanted to work as an artist. What I particularly like about the design part of the creative working world is that it's about solving problems. In many projects you can help with your own expertise. I also think it's great to see what I'm doing, so I'd like to get into this field. I chose HMKW because the courses provide a broad knowledge base. In addition, even in the introductory levels, great attention is paid to gaining practical experience, which will make it easier to enter the working world later on.

Have you already been able to gain some initial work experience that you would like to tell us about?

So far, I have only gained a small amount of professional experience in this field outside of university. However, I have already been able to help friends with my knowledge and, for example, give advice on user interface styling and designing small icons. Nevertheless, I feel well equipped to begin working professionally, since we also do project work at the university and are prepared to work with clients; this is simulated and there are even regular opportunities to work with real clients.

Which seminar/project have you enjoyed the most so far?

Although I found the basic courses exceedingly good, so far I have enjoyed the film and post-production course as well as the Type in Motion project, where we animated letters, the most. These two modules taught me new things about myself, as I had never worked with moving images in any form before. My lack of prior knowledge was not a drawback and I am very happy with my results.


How is life in Berlin? Was it easy for you to settle in? Would you like to stay here after your studies?

I was born in Berlin and have never lived anywhere else for long. Since most of my family also lives here, it would of course be nice to stay here. On the other hand, it would also be interesting to broaden my own horizons, which is why I'm playing with the idea of going to one of the other campuses for a semester or studying at one of the partner universities.

What are your plans for the future?

In the near future, I'll be doing my internship semester, which I'm already really looking forward to. After that, I don't have many plans yet. I haven't decided yet whether I want to do a master's degree or where that could be. I also don't know yet in which area of graphic design I want to work, because so far I'm interested in everything I've learned and what's still to come.

But no matter where I end up, I feel well prepared by HMKW. No matter what comes.

What advice do you have for students who decide to study at HMKW?

I advise you to participate. The university offers many ways to get involved, and if you notice that something is missing, suggestions for new projects are always welcome. I also advise those who are not one hundred percent sure which study program is right for them, or whether they will be able to complete their studies at all: Do a guest semester. That opens a lot of doors, because as a guest student you can get a taste of different study programs and try them out.

Which characteristics should students have who want to study „B.A. Graphic Design and Visual Communication“?

In the design field, you need to have not only creativity, but also team skills, flexibility and critical thinking. It is also important to be able to listen and understand, but being able to justify and defend your own decisions can also be required. In the end, there will be many moments when you have to work as a group to come up with something that meets a client’s needs and expectations. If you don't hit the mark, you can try to make the idea appealing and convincing in a conversation, or you can spontaneously come up with a new idea.

Thank you very much for the interview and much success for the future!