My time at the University of Washington has allowed me to discover my passion for design along with showing me what is required to make my ideas a reality.
When I first came to Seattle, I joined a fraternity, formally known as Delta Chi. Quickly adjusting to this new found freedom, I bought a bike and took to exploring the city streets. The time came when classes began and the quad filled with people, this was also the time when I realized I was really digging Seattle. My first quarter of classes required me to do various tasks, from learning the bus systems to tutoring a 52-year-old Uzbekistanian man English, it was memorable. However, among my courses, an Industrial Design class had the biggest impact on me and is to credit for sparking my passion to design.
Soon after coming to the realization that everything is designed by someone, I became inspired to get my own work into the world. Through various assignments, my creative thinking skills blossomed, validating my pursuit to become an Industrial Designer. Fall became winter, and Winter became Spring, allowing me to explore the world of design and accumulate enough work to fill my portfolio. With a focus on sustainability and enhancing personal mobility, I had a diverse workload to back up my decision to apply to the UW Design Program, unfortunately things did not go according to plan.
Despite the prior efforts, I was not admitted into the Design Program, which lead to an interesting series of events. Amidst the confusion, doubt, and sorrow I formed a new plan for myself and applied to a Design school in Barcelona, Spain. Using my same work, I was admitted and began the steps to become a product designer. Not before long, the process of transferring to another university 5,400 miles away got hairy. Between the student visa and finding a place to live, the excitement of becoming a product designer became overshadowed by the potential of this dream, remaining a dream. Multiple factors influenced by decision to stay in Seattle, specifically the efforts I made to get out of the city. Recognizing the autonomy I had to to choose my own path and potentially move to a different country, inspired me to grab my interests by the reins and take it where I wanted to go.
The following three years at the UW were all over the place, I was taking full credit counts essentially every quarter, in departments across the 501 acre campus. Because of taking classes across the educational spectrum, I truly was shaping my education around my interests. One of the best classes I took was in the 3D4M department called “Metal and Woodshop”. Despite primarily being a sculpture class, has free reign the biggest shop I had ever seen, allowing me to learn how to weld, cut, and bend material using industry tools. In this class I realized what I was capable of, from both a skills and creative standpoint. Due to the fact the shop was two miles from my house, I thought it was only right if I made a bike to get to and from class. Building the frame from the ground up, I learned how my passions can be motivate myself. Around the same time, I got involved with Propella Electric Bikes as a business consultant, that later form into an internship then a job.
Around this time I was floating around UW without a major, however, I was well underway pursuing a minor in Digital Arts and Experimental Media, DXARTS. Believing it was the perfect balance between engineering and art, I thrived in the project environment, resulting in many life long skills. Working with topics ranging from E-Textiles and mechatronics to virtual reality and stereoscopic sound, I grew my ability to communicate through a variety of up and coming mediums. From feeling in a lost in my educational career to feeling confident in my skill set, I realized the best way for me to continue learning would be from following my interests, resulting in me applying and getting into Community, Environment, and Planning.
Participating in the only student run major at the UW was a unique experience, providing me with both the hard and soft skills needed to be successful in the workforce. Whether we are tasked to facilitate a class or create solutions for complex urban issues, the CEP community is able to learn from each other and work together. This major has particularly taught me a lot about myself, specifically what is required of a leader. It quickly became apparent to me I excelled at delegating tasks for group projects, serving as the project manager and often presenter of the work. Perhaps my personality is to blame, but I believe it was from the relentless support I received from my classmates that allowed me to refine my leadership abilities. This major also taught me how to think about and conceptualize large scale systems. While it is important to understand how specific process work, I learned the importance of achieving goals and making projects a reality.
If I were to reflect my experiences at UW and pass on a word of advice, I would say timing is everything and everything takes time. Whether drawing a line or editing a video clip, good timing can yield a beautiful picture. It is important to note, timing is not an easy skill to get hold of, for every situation can differs, it’s just a matter of realizing what you’re tasked with.