I personally found that much of my education, especially higher education was boring. The way that many of us are taught isn’t engaging and leaves us unfulfilled, bored and confused. The subjects that I excelled in were the ones that I found to be the most fun and got enjoyment from.
Through observation I have noticed that attention spans are getting increasingly shorter, mostly due to the constant use of mobile devices – this problem only seems to be getting worse. One of the reasons I created Matmi was to create engaging experiences that would motivate, inspire and educate, but most importantly to capture the attention of young people who weren’t getting the most of out their education.
My personal success came from learning to question everything that I was taught. Soon enough I learnt to question everything, and why became a word that I applied to everything.
Matmi has been working with universities, colleges and schools to help change the way students are educated. We offer a lot of work experience places to students to give them a taste of real working life but to also show that a degree doesn’t define your capabilities and question things they wouldn’t in the class room.
We do things a little differently to most organisations when it comes to recruitment – whilst many of our staff are university graduates its not the number one thing we look for in a potential employee. We want to harvest raw talent, the kind of people who think outside of the box and aren’t conditioned to think in one way. Determination, enthusiasm and a desire to be challenged are all skills that can’t be taught, they’re skills that are gained through life experiences.
Having looked into courses that are offered to students a few years ago we came to the realisation that they’re not in touch with what businesses want, especially in our industry. We knew the syllabus wasn’t going to change so we had to be the change. We started working with schools, colleges and universities such as Staffordshire and Salford, doing guest lectures and assessing student projects to help them improve their quality of work through valuable, life lessons and first-hand experiences.
After a few year of working with educational establishments we’ve been able to see a noticeable difference in the quality of work these students are producing – this is down to businesses like Matmi giving up their time and investing in the next generation. We’ve since gone on to hire some of the students we worked with and they’ve become valuable staff members to us.
Last month we invited the students of Staffordshire University’s games design course to come to Matmi and get involved in a competition to see who could make the best game. It was great to see so many fresh, new ideas and see students come together and work as a team. We were able to offer insightful feedback and give them tips on things they could improve that they wouldn’t necessarily have been exposed to in a class room.
We were also asked to spend the day at Salford University to come and see the end-of-year work from students in their final year. Some of these students had been to Matmi on work experience placements – it was great to see their progress and how they had applied what they had learnt whilst working with us to their final projects. The quality of work was amazing and the passion the students showed was truly inspiring.
This month I was invited to Priestly College in Warrington along with Arthur Parsons, Head of Design at TT Games. We were asked to come along to the college to talk to the students and look at their work – before we went to see the students we were told that their work was up to university standards, and it really was. Arthur and I were amazed with the quality of work being produced, many of these products were to a professional standard. These students has grasped an understand of the relationships between the different departments in business – they knew that working with differently skilled people and utilising the strengths of others they could produce amazing work.
By working closely with universities, schools and colleges we’ve been able to see a difference in the way children react to their education, we showed them a different way to learn and we’re taught them that real-world experience is as valuable, if not more, the then skills they’re taught in the class room. We want each student to remember that it isn’t their education that defines them as a person or that will enable them to create award winning work, its their passion and their ability to believe in themselves.