"The first time we were introduced to Johnny from Audiowise and Michael from Jabra, it was a great break from the usual lecture pattern we were used to. These guys were asking us for help, treating a bunch of students like their equals. It was great to see that we could actually contribute to real-world problems, and their respect for us only made me work harder. I wanted to help them; I wanted to create something that could have an impact, so I paired with a colleague to create “Jukmate – a jukebox in your backpack”.
In the early stages of the project, we were handed various cool tasks that needed to be pitched back to Johnny and Michael. I remember one particular exercise when we had to create an interactive sound engine for the Batwing (from Cristopher Nolan`s Dark Knight Rises). I was really proud of my little PureData patch, but it was obvious that both Jonny and Michael have been through this many times before, easily spotting design flaws and things I missed to consider. If there’s one thing that I remember very well from this, it’s that when designing for public usage, one needs to consider all possible cases, including the ugly ones. This brings me to the biggest impact we as a group received from them – feedback. While we were not limited in any shape or form, tens of years of experience is a great reserve of “do’s and don’ts”, and it helped us avoid unwanted situations.
During the semester, we would meet both representatives on a weekly basis, keeping them up to date with our project evolution. It was humbling to see how they took time to prepare for the meetings, reading our problems, proposing solutions or creating exercises. During the meetings, we were treated as we were a small department in their company.
My 8th semester was the one where I grew up the most professionally. Being treated as a colleague meant a lot and it motivated me to work harder, to be better. On top of that, it was a great experience to hear how a company works: the issues, the needs, the strengths, although the best part of it was that we could use their knowledge to steer our project towards success while avoiding unnecessary stumbles."