The department of Human Centered Design & Engineering welcomes individuals interested in making the world a better place through design. To help illustrate the type of students who put the "H" in HCDE, we are highlighting the backgrounds and experiences of several of our students and recent graduates in a new series of blog posts. Follow along!
Q: What inspired you to pursue a degree in HCDE?
A: I had changed careers and wanted to further develop my design skillset after working in the new industry for a year. I had always wanted to pursue a higher degree so it made sense to apply for one. I also knew that HCDE was going to give me a lot of resources I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Q: What is something you found particularly enjoyable about the program?
A: You get to build a strong foundation for the HCD process, including a strong emphasis in research, and get to really dive deep into your interests. You also get to meet a lot of really cool people from different backgrounds.
Q: Tell us about any enriching extracurricular programs or student groups you were involved in during your program.
A: I served as VP of the HCDE Graduate Student Association (GSA). This allowed me to exercise my leadership and collaboration skills as well as contribute back to the community. As part of the GSA, I was able to grow my professional network through reaching out to people when organizing activities for my peers.
Q: What was your favorite courses or research groups that you were involved with, and why?
A: I enjoyed the physical prototyping course the most because I’m fascinated by the untapped potential of IoT. I also found the Project EMAR Directed Research Group helped me build strong research skills by learning how to frame your questions right and how to get meaningful answers in the wild.
Q: Tell us about an experience in HCDE that has influenced your career goals.
A: My capstone project gave me a taste of true product design from a blue sky. Seeing the impact we’ve made from that project serves as my main motivation for continuing as a product designer today as well as a guide to what I look for in a design job.
Q: What have you been doing since graduating?
A: Product design at an airlines company where I get to travel frequently, talk to a lot of different people, and use that to drive the impact that will be made through my designs.
Are you an HCDE alumnus interested in sharing your HCDE story? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch.