The prospect of returning to study after already having established a career may have been a little daunting, but the welcoming atmosphere and student culture at Media Design School meant that Ingrid quickly settled in to life as a full-time student. "My first impression of Media Design School was a "wow". I was impressed by the arty and creative feel when you come into the building. Sometimes I couldn't tell the difference between the students and the tutors as everyone was so relaxed and friendly."
Throughout the course of the year, Ingrid and her fellow Interactive Design students, who she describes as "remarkably creative and intelligent", spent a lot of time talking together about their respective projects and the creative processes they undertook to achieve their goals.
"We were a group of maybe eight students that would share our work regularly. It was like an ideation workshop where we would pass ideas about each others work and consequently we developed our critical thinking."
Not only did she feel incredibly encouraged by the feedback from her classmates, she also received a significant amount of support from lecturer Matt Stevens, who she has "tremendous respect" for.
"Matt made me dream big. I remember saying to him that I don't have time to do four projects for my portfolio and he simply said: you can do it, Ingrid,"
"I tried to convince him that it was impossible but Matt has an inner power that is passing to you. He made me trust myself and be fearless because "at the end of the day it's just code and determination..."."
The four projects that Ingrid worked on over the course of the year may have been challenging, but she is incredibly happy with the outcomes of her perseverance.
"I'm definitely proud of the web app I developed and my portfolio website. This website was a challenge because I wanted it to look visually beautiful and to stand out. Easy to say, hard to do!"
"I started with an idea but after hearing my peers' feedback I decided to change it and instead of trying to reproduce other portfolio websites I decided to go with my own approach and use my creativity. To come up with an idea I spent at least 40 hours of taking pictures that resonated with me. I applied the minimalistic principles in designing the website and I used my own hand writing as a logo."
"Within a week of finishing the diploma I was shortlisted for jobs at three big companies. This diploma was definitely one of the reasons I got invited for interviews in this field."
Ingrid is currently a Digital Experience Specialist for Spark Digital, where she manages and creates new content for Spark's website and oversees the deployment process when major changes are implemented.
"I work with different agencies to deliver the enhancement plan and with stakeholders to ensure digital best practice is followed and to ensure a consistent user experience. We work in a very modern building and the company culture is different than what you would imagine in a big corporation. We all work on laptops and we are free to move wherever we want in the building because no-one has an office or a stationary desk,"
"The best part of my job is that every day is different. Working for Spark Digital that is continually innovating and aiming to be a world leader in digital solutions is a very exciting thing for me because it is opening endless avenues for my career."
For those people who are considering changing careers but are hesitant about retraining, Ingrid has the following advice: "Take the leap. It will be hard no doubt but it will be worthwhile."
"You will need to put your life on hold for a year and wake up every morning with the thought that you will make it. Studying at Media Design School will open doors to an amazing career."