Sophie Palmer - Nelson and Colne College

A T Level-style work placement at renowned fabric manufacturer Panaz has inspired Nelson and Colne College Art and Design student Sophie Palmer to pursue a career in interior design.

Sophie, 18, from Barrowford, is celebrating achieving Triple Distinction* in her Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Art and Design and has praised the college and the course for developing her personally and professionally. Sophie has successfully secured a place at the Manchester School of Art to study Interior Design.

The former student of Ss John Fisher and Thomas More RC High School in Colne, said: “Studying BTEC Art and Design at College has given me a wide range of creative arts skills which has prepared me for my next step. I have grown significantly in confidence, to be more creative and to experiment with ideas and techniques.

“By developing my knowledge and learning a broad spectrum of skills and techniques in Art and Design, this has propelled me forward to pursue a career in the interior design world, which I am most passionate about.”

Nelson and Colne College is one of the pioneering colleges nationally to be delivering the first wave of new T Level qualifications from September. Sophie says spending 20% of her time in industry, in the style of the new qualifications, really benefited her learning and progression.

Sophie added: “My course was perfect for me and enabled me to find my passion. I also had significant support from my tutors along the way. They inspired me and supported me in securing an industry placement in the design studio at Panaz. It was a fantastic experience to work at such a renowned and leading creative company.

“My ultimate ambition is to become a successful interior designer, possibly working on projects for hotels and the hospitality sector.

“I would highly recommend Nelson and Colne College to others, as it is a safe and welcoming environment and provides you with the foundation to develop your education in your chosen area, as well as serving as a catalyst to pursue dreams and passions.”