First year of grad school is almost over. It has been a busy, crazy time, and I have loved it. I have grown so much this year, and I can’t even imagine how I will be transformed by my thesis work next year. The last few weeks I have been preoccupied with what my next steps should be, and I have been meeting and talking with people about what I should do for summer work, my thesis and beyond. I hope that the work I do this summer will help me to focus my thesis topic for next year, which will follow into an amazing career when I graduate.
For the summer, I hope to intern to gain experience that I don’t have, to continue to stretch my skills and knowledge like I have done this year. If I don’t land an internship that will give me that experience, I will continue to take freelance contracts that will allow me to experiment and learn in my free time. I also want to make some space to volunteer this summer with an inner city youth program. I hope that by interning, freelancing and volunteering I will get a broader understanding of where I now live, and what the current issues and directions are in business and in the community.
My goals for my thesis are three-fold: study something that I care about, develop a thesis that will be relevant in design and business, and design something meaningful that could change how we perceive the world. Currently, I think this has something to do with understanding a new value system for the economy, one built on measuring more than profit, but considers impact in social, educational, wellness and environmental spheres. I believe we are moving into a time where we need a holistic understanding of systems, and that visualization will be key to illuminating pattern and consequence. I know this could change as I move through the summer, but these are my thoughts right now.
These are large goals, but I did not come back to school to head out to do the same thing that I was doing when I got here. I came here to transform, and to create the life and the work that will fulfill me. It’s been hard and scary, but so worthwhile. I distilled my learning points into a manifesto for design, and I hope these points will remind me where to start and where to keep going through the next year.