Careers guide: Phil Parkin reveals how he became a senior project designer for Starbucks

Phil Parkin is a senior project designer at Starbucks. For the Dezeen Jobs careers guide, he describes how he ended up designing stores for the world's biggest coffee-shop chain.

After studying interior architecture and design at university, Parkin gained experience working at a range of architecture and design studios and agencies including FITCH, Kinnersley Kent Design and Foster + Partners. This variety helped him to develop a broad skill set in retail design.

Parkin's role at Starbucks is to oversee an extensive portfolio of stores across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. This includes working on individual store designs with the in-house design team and providing creative direction to external collaborators.

"I liked the idea that Starbucks gives me a platform to reach a lot of people very quickly," Parkin told Dezeen Jobs.

"Projects are fast and we tap into every high street, mall and even roadside experience. I could see how Starbucks would help me achieve my career goals in a really effective way, sharing a lot of the brand values that I have too."

The designer's latest projects include a recently opened store in London's Kentish Town and another in Amsterdam's Zuidas financial district.

"All design direction and decisions are made in-house, from small-town stores to the flagship roasteries featured on Dezeen," Parkin explained. "The challenge is to make every store unique to its neighbourhood, but still resemble our global brand."

Parkin believes the key to his role is the ability to be creative under pressure and to think ahead to the future.

"It's also really important to understand branding, not design for what's trending but design for what's on-brand and where we want to position ourselves for future success," he said.

Read the interview on Dezeen Jobs ›