Logo close icon

Ann Elin Hvidsten

Creative Director, Burson-Marsteller Norway 

BA (Hons) Graphic Design 

What made you choose Middlesex University?

I knew two previous students who had gone to Middlesex after taking the same foundation course as me in Norway. They recommended the course. 

What attracted you to your course and made you apply?

Coming from a small village in Norway, the idea of moving to London was an attraction in itself. Being able to study design in a city known for innovation, art and design played a big part. When I decided to go to Middlesex, I had already been for an interview and seen the campus. I also knew that the course had a good reputation and I had spoken to previous students who recommended it.     

What aspects of your course did you enjoy most?

Definitely the people! I met some great people during my time at Middlesex, from fellow students to teaching staff and tutors. I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to make, collaborate, share opinions and interact where you can.

In addition to collaborating with students on my course, I also had the opportunity to collaborate with students on other courses, for example textiles and ceramics. This was great.    

What is your fondest memory of life at Middlesex?

My fondest memories are of the people I met while I was studying at Middlesex, some of whom are still some my closest friends today. I also have fond memories of inspiring tutors who went out of their way to teach us and even invited us into their homes.

What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective student interested in studying at Middlesex?

Take time to check out the course. Talk to students or previous students if you can, and if possible talk to people within the industry you are considering. Try to find a course that appeals both to your head and to your heart.

How did your course and time at Middlesex help you get to where you are professionally today?

The course gave me the foundations to become a design professional, but when you start working, you realise that your learning curve is still going to be steep and fast!

What made you choose the industry you work in and what are its pros and cons?

After working for many years in design agencies, I went to work in the PR/communications industry. This gives me the opportunity to work with a large range of customers on a variety of projects across a range of industries/areas. The pros are every day is different and you get to work with a lot of different people. It is challenging, exciting and never boring! The main con is that it can be stressful at times, there can be long days and at times a lot of pressure.

How did you get your first foot on the career ladder?

After leaving Middlesex I worked in two London-based design agencies and spent a lot of time designing for catalogues and direct marketing campaigns. While this gave me valuable experience, I wanted to broaden my experience. I moved back to Norway and went to work in a design agency in Oslo which had a strong reputation. It was here that I met senior colleagues who inspired me and who pushed me further.

What has been your defining career break or highlight to date?

My defining career break was getting my first position as Creative Director in 2010. My career highlight to date is winning the Norwegian Design Council's 'Honours Award for Design Excellence' in 2010.

What are the top three tips you would give to current students and recent graduates who are looking for a similar career to yours?

Collaborate and learn from people around you. Push the boundaries and try not to repeat yourself. Work hard!

What one piece of advice would you give to the 17/18 year old you?

Make the most of the breaks you get. If you want something, go for it – but be prepared to work for it.

In this section

Back to top