24-year-old Max Döres is an example of how you can make it into self-employment on the basis of a degree at Hof University of Applied Sciences. From 2017 to 2020, he studied media design (B.A.) at the Münchberg Campus and is now co-founder of the startup “avanera” from Augsburg. There he deals – partly together with other graduates of the Münchberg Campus – with digital product development, customer experience as well as marketing and sales. Previously, he also worked as a lecturer at Hof University of Applied Sciences, among other things.
What do you think of first when you look back on your student days and how did you experience this time?
“Definitely the family environment in Münchberg and working together on campus. Studying media design gave me a very broad view of a wide variety of design disciplines. I was particularly impressed at the time that we worked on real product innovations, especially in interaction design, and the skills we learned went far beyond those of classic design.”
What are the special features in Münchberg?
“What was special in Münchberg was in any case the intensive collaboration among the students. They often sat together in the labs until late at night and worked on ideas and physical prototypes. The motivation and fun at work were enormous.”
Are there any anecdotes related to your studies that you can relate?
“As part of the 25th anniversary celebration of Hof University of Applied Sciences, we designed the exhibition at the time with the entire semester. For the project we had worked on, you would normally need deep knowledge in Data Science, Computer Science, CAD and additionally a carpentry education. Of course, we had only very superficial knowledge and had to improvise. As a result, we had to completely reschedule our exhibition furniture in the two nights before the opening. In the end, everything worked out at the last minute! In any case, in design studies you learn to improvise well…”
Are you still in contact with teachers or former fellow students?
“Yes, I am in close contact with some fellow students, a few of whom have also moved to Augsburg. The friendships are not only limited to my own semester, but go much further. I also still maintain a good exchange with Prof. Michael Zöllner.”
What has the study program prepared you for particularly well?
“The study program prepared me particularly well for approaching problems in the right way.
Networked, comprehensive and creative thinking is the key to many topics at our startup. My media design studies have given me a wide range of tools and methodologies, which now help me to work in a variety of subject areas, regardless of the topic.”Max Döres
Unfortunately, there are still quite few networks in the design field and especially in user experience / interaction design in the region, but that should also develop.”
Any tips for current students?
“Enjoy your time in Münchberg and try out a lot! In most cases, you won’t be able to work so exploratively and freely after graduation. Also, use your studies already to travel a lot and meet like-minded people with different backgrounds.”