Career Series: Insights from Arc’teryx

SSACHS Career Series

Are you currently a student on a design degree feeling a bit lost and unsure of what a career in design really looks like? Design internships and entry level roles are few in number and extremely competitive. There is no doubt you need to be leaving University with a combination of experience, industry connections and a final year portfolio. Laura, SSACHS Features Writer will be interviewing a brand each month through 2021 with the aim of answering questions that your University Careers team might not be able to answer. The SSACHS Career Series is here to give relevant insight to students who aren’t sure how to navigate through the design industry.

Arc’teryx designs and manufactures high-end clothing, accessories, and equipment for all Outdoor activities. Arc’teryx has over 1000 employees.

Charlotte Browning is currently a Colour Design Assistant at Arc’teryx and has held positions in Materials Development also at Arc’teryx in the last two and a half years. Charlotte recently decided to take on the role of President of the Alumni Chapter at the Wilson School of Design to build a community with students who are graduating. Charlotte also started an online Masters in Design Management at Northumbria University.

What do junior designers need to know before they enter the industry? 

  • Having a foundation in the product development space can assist a junior designer in a fast-paced outdoor industry. Understanding the technical feasibility of your ideas gives them a backbone and brings them to life. 
  • Being adaptable and open to new learning is essential. As a junior designer, you may be working on a larger design vision that requires both your hard and your soft skills to be executed smoothly.

What advice was most helpful to you throughout your career when working on a project?

  • Do your user research.
  • Get to know your user, their activity and your market really well. 
  • Focus on understanding the problem, rather than jumping to the solution.
  • After a research phase, you should have a better understanding of why, what and who you are solving for. Spending an extended amount of time in the research space creates thoughtful, sought after solutions for your consumer. The research phase is key to removing bias, so you design what the user really wants, not what you think they want.

We like to say at Arc’teryx: Learn by doing! Fail by doing! Succeed by doing!

Charlotte Browning, Arc’teryx

What advice was most helpful to you throughout your career as an individual and a team member?

  • Don’t be afraid to fail forward.
  • We like to say at Arc’teryx: Learn by doing! Fail by doing! Succeed by doing!
  • Accept challenges, try new things, explore the unknown and push boundaries… pivoting into new territories are all part of the fun! 
  • Share, share share. Share the process. Share your challenges. Share your solutions.
  • Seeing the shiny final product is great, but how did you get there? Tell a story.
  • Get down and dirty and share your process with others, make the highs and the lows count.  

Angélique Figeac is a Recruiter for Manufacturing at Acr’ teryx. Angélique has been recruiting for Arc’teryx for over a year in the following roles; Production (sewing, machinist), Quality (quality inspector), Warranty, Warehouse, Mechanic, Engineering, Office work.

What do junior designers need to know before they enter the industry?

It sounds cliché but you will need to work hard, especially at the beginning to learn and absorb as much as possible. You will often be asked to do things outside your job description, say “yes” as much as possible (while still maintaining work-life balance and not taking on too much), the more you can expose yourself to, the more you will learn. Remember that design requires attention to detail, there will be many administrative tasks that come along with the job which might not be as fun but are equally important. Lastly, and most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself and have fun along the way! – What advice was most helpful to you throughout your career (until now)?

Attention to detail is important, don’t rush the process, cross your ‘t”s and dot your ‘i”s.

Keri Rowe-Tooke, Recruiter

Keri Rowe-Tooke is a recruiter for Arc’teryx Design Centre. She has worked for Arc’teryx for two and a half years. At the start of Covid Keri moved in Project Manager position within the People & Culture Department. She support projects in recruitment, employee branding, employee experience and retail.

What do junior designers need to know before they enter the industry?

At Arc’teryx we have a statement that says ‘learn by doing’, don’t hold yourself back from trying new things or being scared to fail. If you can learn from your failures, then you can move on and improve. Test something, if it doesn’t quite work, iterate and test it again. Be curious and ask questions. Attention to detail is important, don’t rush the process, cross your ‘t”s and dot your ‘i”s. Lastly, remember to balance your career with the things you that love and things that make you happy.

Arc’teryx is a company that is absolutely beloved by the people living outdoor adventure and ski and snowboard lifestyles. The name of Arc’teryx refers to the Archaeopteryx, the earliest known bird in natural history. The logo is a representation of the first discovered fossil of this bird. Their authentic values are completely aligned with the values of the outdoor community, of which all their live and breathe. Their values have also attracted the military and high-end urban markets.

Arc teryx’ started in 1989 by making superior rock climbing harnesses and backpacks by applying (then) new lamination technology. They have since licensed Gore-tex and invented the ‘WaterTight zipper’ and built out an outdoor apparel line. They invented the ‘Softshell’, a product on the market that combines woven polyester and nylon, for durability and comfort. Softshell is highly breathable and wears well against the skin. If you are a student aspiring to work for Acr teryx’ check out and keep up to date with careers on: www.arcteryx.com/gb/en/careers/

SSACHS Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter and receive regular updates.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

X