What’s next?

For twenty years, I have been in school. I’m sure others spend more or less time than I have, but we all probably have the same question running through our minds after graduation: What now? What’s next?

A few weeks ago I graduated from university. I spent six years pursuing a higher education and earning my Bachelor’s in Graphic Design and Linguistics. Throughout those six years, I knew my end goal and I knew what I needed to do to achieve that goal. Here I am, beginning a new chapter in my life. It’s daunting yet exhilarating not knowing what lies in store. However, I feel like a lost animal aimlessly wandering because I don’t know what my new goal is.

Find a job? Cold. Find a job that pays the bills? Warm. Find a job that values you? Definitely hot… but also, I believe, a bit difficult to come by.

In the last semester of school, we had many alumni from the graphic design program come to our class to give us advice on scoring interviews, making the transition from school to work, and building our portfolios. One guest speaker left some valuable nuggets that have been running through my head as of late:

  • “Know what you want”
  • “Know your worth”
  • “Your most valuable asset is you”

These words of wisdom ring loudly as I enter this new chapter. Keeping them in mind really shifts my focus from simply finding a job to finding a job that values me. I admit, I’m neither outspoken nor assertive, and I struggle in voicing my needs and wants. I frequently find myself justifying why my job treats me the way they do. Don’t get me wrong, my jobs, past and current, have treated me alright. However, every time I take a step back and reflect, I realize that I frequently overlook the obstacles I’ve overcame and the skills I’ve gained. As a result, I fail to realize that I frequently downplay my worth. At the end of the day, I think it doesn’t matter how much you get paid because if your job values you, it’ll reflect in how they treat you and you will be justly rewarded.

My advice: don’t be like me. Know that your experiences and opinions are just as valid as anyone else in your work environment. Sure, you still have a lot of learn, but you still bring insight that maybe your coworkers haven’t thought of. Your personal journey is unique and valuable and important. “Your most valuable asset is you.”

A Day in SF – Play Artfully

Wow, it’s been almost a year since I’ve updated my youtube channel. I’m amazed how people find the time to edit their footages, and in such a way that’s engaging and entertaining. Seriously, mad respect to filmmakers, vloggers, and basically anyone who has experienced editing videos. Anyway, this vlog is a bit old but I didn’t get around to editing it until now. It’s a snippet of a day in SF with some of my awesome design buds 🙂

We are a masterpiece

The more I hear about the professional world under the lens of design thinking, the more I feel like each department is like a color. Design is red, Engineering is blue, Marketing is green, etc. Seemingly separate, when we mix together to solve a problem, we produce something beautiful… a masterpiece you could say.

This analogy sounded better in my head. My point is I think schools should adopt this methodology of cross-disciplinary collaboration to prepare students for the professional world, and to rid of any stigma or misconceptions some may have of other majors.

#randomthoughtsisrandom

Failure is an Option

Excuse me for my cliche title.

My User Experience (UX) professor asked us the other day “what can students do to experiment more in the classroom?”, to which I asked, “Shouldn’t the professor facilitate an environment that allows failure?”

He volleyed, “How?”
I conceded with “I don’t know.”
“How would you do it?”

My professor then said that even if teachers facilitate that environment, students should change their mindset from getting good grades to a mindset that’s willing to explore. He said, and I’m heck paraphrasing here (i.e. I could be off), if students only aim for that “A,” their mindset is narrowed to only achieving that “A” level and they don’t realize their other potentials.

Continue reading “Failure is an Option”

Setting Goals

Back in 2011, I wrote a list of what I planned to do before I turned 25. I cracked open my journal containing said list, read what my 2011-self wrote, and laughed at some of the silly things I wrote: fly a kite, talk to a celebrity, dance in the rain. It’s no surprise that I have not completed 80% of the list, but I am still surprised that I managed to do 20% of it.

To some, making a list of goals is stupid and a waste of time. To others, it’s beneficial because it is a reminder and a motivator. I admit, I always make a resolutions list when the new year arrives, and I end up never doing any of them. For example, I always say I will build my vocabulary in foreign languages, practice everyday, blah blah. It falls apart the next day. The problem with resolutions list compared to this “things I am going to do” list is duration. It demands change that can only be achieved through repetition of an act(s) during a long period. The other list contains things that happen in a moment: flying a kite, going to a zoo/circus, going to CA Adventures, etc. It’s spontaneous. I know I am waffling here, but I came this realization as I was staring at my “accomplishments.”

As the year is drawing to an end, I realize how life is swiftly moving. Try new things and be a little spontaneous because, forgive me, #yolo. (excuse me while I go barf from my cheesiness).