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Designers create transformational work for clients every day: raising their visibility, helping them grow and become the best they can be. Why not do the same for yourself and your own career and, at the same time, use your talents to make a difference in the world?
If you want a more creative, meaningful and purpose-driven career, apply for an MFA degree in Design for Social Innovation at the School of Visual Arts. Here are a few stories of DSI alumni and how the program transformed their careers and their work.
From Textile Designer to Business Innovation Designer
Tanvi Kareer, ’17, came to DSI with a degree in textile design, and a desire to help people by engaging them “beyond the product.” For her thesis project, Tanvi worked with women in rural Indian villages, where many families live on $2 a day. Through research with these women, Tanvi developed insights about their needs. Though income is erratic, she found a way to help them manage their money, and even begin to save. After prototyping potential ideas, Tanvi came up with a simple solution—a wallet with a physical place for them to “hide something away.” The skills Tanvi gained at DSI—research, leadership, entrepreneurship, prototyping, communication design and technology—enabled her to solve a complex problem with a simple solution. Now, Tanvi is a design researcher at the international consultancy Doblin, where she works on innovation for global businesses.
From Graphic Designer to Healthcare Design Strategist
Bruno Silva, ’16, had an undergraduate degree in graphic design and was working as an interaction designer. But he was bored with the limitations of his role; he had bigger ideas than his position allowed him to contribute. Now Bruno is head of design and product development at the Arnhold Institute for Public Health, where he leads the redesign of health services to transform how patients are treated and how healthcare is delivered. He is also leading the integration of design methodologies into the curriculum of doctors, so they learn how to be more patient-centric. Bruno is also managing a global mapping project to study the effect of climate, poverty and other forces on the physical health of humans. Bruno not only gained the skills to enable him to move from graphic designer to design strategist, impacting the lives of missions of people, but he made the connections there that got him the job
From Graphic Designer to Re-inventor of Education
Monica Snellings, ’14, enjoyed a long career and had raised two children when she realized she wanted something bigger and more exciting for herself. There were issues she cared a great deal about, like education, civic engagement and healthy aging. Monica used her time at DSI to refocus her life and career to help young children imagine their futures. Her work encouraged and helped children understand what the people they admire were like at their age. Through this unique and smart approach, the children were able to frame their aspirations in a relatable context. Monica’s job as communication and design lead at Education Reimagined, Convergence is imagining how the educational system in the U.S. could be redesigned to not only help children have academic success, but also realize their full potential.
If you’re happy doing what you’re doing in your current trajectory, keep going. If you want a transformational career—better than you can currently imagine, one with purpose that allows you to be the best you can become—apply for the Fall 2018 cohort at SVA’s DSI program.