Hayley Chalmers is a former East Durham College art and design student, originally from Shotton Colliery. She recently designed the Hyundai i10 interior as part of her degree and has achieved her dream career in automotive design. Currently living in London, Hayley works as a Creative Designer at SAIC Motors, thriving in her dream job designing the exterior and interior of vehicles, at their London-based studio near Fleet Street.
Having always had a passion for art and design, it was her favourite subject at school, this prompted her to study it at East Durham College after leaving school. She has also always had a strong interest in cars, admitting: “Cars were always a passion and I was always curious about the aesthetics of different brands, why certain cars looked a certain way… I always wanted to know more.”
After finishing her course at East Durham College, Hayley went on to study a degree in automotive design at Coventry University. During which, she undertook internships at Ford in Melbourne (Australia) and Land Rover, where they sponsored her thesis project. She then went on to study a Master’s (MA) degree in Automotive Design at the world-renowned Pforzheim University in Germany. During her MA, she worked with Renault and took on an internship with Hyundai. In her time working with Hyundai she designed the i10 interior and as a result Hyundai also sponsored her MA thesis project.
Hayley’s work is heavily inspired by her London life, as she expresses: “I have so many influences around me that I get to experience from Urban Art, Design Festivals, modern architecture, fashion and even gaming conventions that I funnel into my designs and sketches.”
Reflecting on her time at East Durham College Hayley added: “I absolutely loved my course. It was the first time that I thought seriously about higher education too. University at the time had seemed unattainable; it was actually one of my lecturers at EDC that first suggested I look at universities and what courses I would like to pursue.”
Hayley also humbly admits: “I consider myself very lucky to have found my dream career and that is thanks to my time spent at EDC. With the support of my lecturers, I was able to take the next step into university and eventually my first job as a car designer. I wake up every morning excited to go to work as I get to do a job I love!”
We then asked Hayley for any advice she would give to other students who want to follow a similar direction or succeed in their chosen field of study.
“I believe achievement and success is a mix of stubborn dedication, commitment and straight up luck!
“So, work hard, commit to your career, don’t be afraid to ask for help and take every opportunity that comes your way!
“No one who reached their dream career has had an easy journey, there are a lot of highs and lows; it’s how you navigate those that will determine your success.”
She then went onto say “…Embrace the difficulties you face; you will overcome them and ultimately this is where you will learn the most and don’t forget to enjoy the great moments, there will be plenty along your journey.”
Amazing advice from a former student who has achieved their dreams and isn't done yet! We can't wait to see where Hayley's exciting career takes her next.