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Congratulations to the Design Management Professional Diploma class of 2020

24 February 2021
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DMPD 2021

Juggling further education with a day job always requires commitment, but none more so than during a global health crisis. Extra rounds of applause, then, to the freshly-graduated students of Design Skillnet’s Design Management Professional Diploma.


Little did they know when taking their first class last year that a global pandemic would disrupt their entire Design Management programme. But, thanks to a collectively agile pivot to digital learning and mentoring, they were thrilled to pass with flying colours last week.


Twelve modules over as many months were conducted online once the Pandemic hit, of the Design Management Professional Diploma developed for Design Skillnet by Design Leadership experts PARK, to empower designers and design managers with smarter business nous. A key component of the programme – now in its 3rd year – is also community, with students encouraged to share amongst each other their personal experiences of accountancy spreadsheets, client hacks and HR apps. This commonly involves a group-bonding field trip to Munich, and impromptu post-class chats over coffee (or beers), however, this year’s cohorts had no choice but to socialise from the comfort of their own offices. And, surprisingly, it worked.

Any fly on the wall of last week’s final presentations, hosted by course director James Hall, would see the camaraderie developed over the past 12 months, when all eight graduates showcased their ambitious pitches and implementable strategies for their organisations – spanning Novartis, Eaton, Houghton Millfin – or to potential clients, also in attendance. Encouraging feedback was commonplace, as were applause emojis whenever microphones were politely muted. It was an uplifting end to a challenging academic year in which the classmates did themselves proud.

Graduates leave with the management and leadership skills emboldened with a practical toolkit to take their careers and business into the next phase of growth, productivity and profitability. The next Design Management Professional Diploma is scheduled for January 2022, with more details here.

A huge congratulations to all who graduated:

  • Lydia Ward, Genesys
  • Frances Tyrrell, Novartis
  • Simon Roche, Bureau
  • John Fitzgerald, Pixel Ink
  • Brendan Feeney, Eaton
  • Karen Hanratty, Pixel Design
  • Peter Rigney, Rigney Forge
  • Christina Collins, ZAGG International

Find out how Design Skillnet can help you become more creative, human-centred, and impactful within your organisation.