Brett_nyc
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When I taught drawing, I graded the deliverables segment based on true professional level output. There's no excuse not to be aware of what constitutes pro level output and the students need to be shown regularly what that is.

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Generatewhatsnext
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My advice;

1. never get complacent, even if you think you're the best of the best.
2. never stop trying, even if you're sure it's impossible,
3. impress yourself first, then others,
4. beware the lollipop of mediocrity - lick it once and you'll suck forever,
5. save twice as much from your earnings as you think you should,
6. every once in awhile buy something outrageous - it will keep you hungry for more,
7. trust your instinct,
8. don't believe that dreams are unreachable - if you believe in something, go for it!
Scott Snider
Partner, Product Development
Generator, inc.
http://www.generatewhatsnext.com
http://www.twitter.com/generatewhtsnxt
http://www.linkedin.com/company/1023934
skype: generatewhatsnext

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rkuchinsky
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Generatewhatsnext wrote:My advice;

1. never get complacent, even if you think you're the best of the best.
2. never stop trying, even if you're sure it's impossible,
3. impress yourself first, then others,
4. beware the lollipop of mediocrity - lick it once and you'll suck forever,
5. save twice as much from your earnings as you think you should,
6. every once in awhile buy something outrageous - it will keep you hungry for more,
7. trust your instinct,
8. don't believe that dreams are unreachable - if you believe in something, go for it!


Great list! Couldn't add a thing. Love #4. Going to have to use that.

R
Richard Kuchinsky / Directive Creator
http://www.rkuchinsky.com

The Directive Collective
http://www.directivecollective.com


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Location: Traveling
There's a ton of great tips in here. I don't have many regrets from school (at least, that were ID related), but if I could go back and do it again, I would have liked to know at the beginning...

  • Don't be afraid to invest big money in tools that help you do better work. It's worth it.
  • First-name familiarity is priceless. Network your face off. Get to conferences (even if you hate IDSA), go to reviews, meet up with professionals whenever you get the chance.
  • Try to get a variety of internship experience. Designing for a corporate company is very different from working in a small firm with 4 other people.
  • Read/Watch/Listen to the news... and not just tech/gadget/design news.
  • Wherever you go, make it a point to watch other people do things. You'll learn a lot.

Re: If I Knew Then What I Know (Advice to students)

Postby yo » November 5th, 2012, 6:26 pm

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yo
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nice list DesignNomad. All good tips.

Re: If I Knew Then What I Know (Advice to students)

Postby phoomp » November 5th, 2012, 10:20 pm


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For those aspiring toward a career in software interaction deign and user experience design, as I did when I was in ID school, if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have even entered school. Instead, I would have gotten a job doing ANYTHING, even work for dirt cheap, at a shop developing software. Even if I was earning next to nothing, that would still be better than the thousands I spent on school and I'd have earned much more valuable real world experience.

In the software interaction and ux design worlds, nothing is more valuable than real world experience. In all of the jobs I've interviewed for, no one has ever asked to look at my portfolio.

Re: If I Knew Then What I Know (Advice to students)

Postby rpfiii » November 5th, 2012, 11:06 pm


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Document EVERYTHING. Work in progress, scribbles, sketches, your process. Not just the finished object. Design is a journey and sometimes being able to demonstrate HOW you got to a particular solution is more important that the solution itself--especially when shopping your portfolio to prospective employers.

Showing up with an electronic file full of pretty renderings and finished models is unimpressive without including the steps involved to reach that final form. Anyone can parade a snazzy picture around and make all sorts of claims as to authorship and their involvement, but without the proof of your work--your 'sweat-equity'--your A+ doodle is worthless in the business world.

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sanjy009
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I found this today, Ira Glass commencment speech. About Journalism but still very relevant to Design. Its a speech at a lecturn so you can just listen to it rather than watch.



from http://exp.lore.com/post/38978876141/one-of-the-great-things-about-journalism-today

Re: If I Knew Then What I Know (Advice to students)

Postby DanielB » February 10th, 2013, 11:12 pm


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For some of you, it may be your first experience in a design business environment. I remember feeling lost in my first few experiences after college (we all do). Surrounded by so much new information, I constantly felt like I was falling behind my more experienced colleagues. I didn't know who to look to for advice, and I never felt like I was doing my job well enough.

So as you prepare for your new job as designer — and the challenges you'll face in that position — I'd offer five pointers I've seen work for people along the way.

1. Don't "fake it until you make it." Many new designers try to appear more knowledgeable than they really are. They don't ask questions. They think they need to have answers to be valuable to their organizations, and they can't admit to a lack of experience or understanding. They compensate for their lack of confidence with overconfidence. But here's the secret: They're not fooling anyone! No one expects you to know everything in your first job, and you learn and grow faster when you seek real understanding, ask questions, and petition for help. Rather than faking it, make it by acknowledging the skills and experience of your colleagues at work and using your first job or internship as a learning experience.

2. Never eat lunch alone. One of the best things about a new job is the incredible learning experience it provides. Every single person you'll work with in your new position — from the receptionist to the CEO — can teach you something valuable, and each of them can be a friend and mentor in your career. Many of the happiest and most successful people I know constantly ask questions and seek guidance from everyone around them, and research even shows that people with stronger social networks live longer. Your office is full of intelligent, thoughtful, and experienced people. Get to know them. Treat them with respect. Ask them questions. Learn from them. And have fun in the process.

3. Set boundaries to prevent burnout. Most jobs are never fully done. In school, your tests, homework assignments, and group projects have defined due dates. Parents and teachers will help you balance your life, and you have frequent, built-in breaks to help you recharge. But a job is different. It will be hard to do perfectly (or even well!). You'll be anxious to over-perform, and many bosses are all too happy to have their new employees work long hours if they want to. There's something to be said for putting in extra effort. But you also need to learn, early on, to set personal boundaries that allow you to maintain balance and avoid burnout. Burnout can make you less productive at work, and certainly makes you less happy. And in the absence of a caring community looking out for your well-being, you'll need to take ownership of your boundaries. Map out your lifestyle goals ahead of time. Build short breaks from work into your schedule, and learn early to seek balance in your work and life.

4. Serve your colleagues and clients. A common view of Millennials is that they are entitled and narcissistic. And a common mistake young people make is to competitively climb their career ladders rather than humbly seeking to serve their colleagues and customers. But if you want to earn the respect of those around you and defy your generation's stereotypes, the best thing you can do is bring an attitude of service to your job. Proactively seek out ways to help your colleagues. Think ahead for new ways to please clients and other departments. The greatest leaders often combine humility and fierce resolve. And humbly serving — staying focused on others — can be a great way to develop leadership and amass the support of your co-workers.

5. Work hard and show up on time. It's been well-documented that hard work can be at least as important as talent to professional success. The 10,000 hour rule, for example, maintains that to truly master a skill, a person must put in 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. And nothing signals seriousness to your employer like promptness, perseverance, and dedication. Over the long run, diligence will earn you the respect of your colleagues, and hard work will give you the mastery and self-discipline to succeed in the future. The basics are simple, but easy to forget: Work hard and show up on time.

Following these suggestions will make for a more worthwhile experience for you, while balancing some of the stress and struggles of a brand-new work environment.

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PackageID
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Great advice above!!! Thanks for sharing.

J
-Justin Coble-
http://coroflot.com/jcoble

"Never let the same dog bite you twice" -Chuck Berry-

Re: If I Knew Then What I Know (Advice to students)

Postby yo » February 11th, 2013, 11:34 pm

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yo
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Fantastic advice Daniel.

Re: If I Knew Then What I Know (Advice to students)

Postby ADD » February 12th, 2013, 5:09 am

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ADD
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If you know or you feel that you are a talented designer,
You should publish your work in the public domain before someone eats on you. (Early stage of design career)
Last edited by ADD on February 12th, 2013, 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: If I Knew Then What I Know (Advice to students)

Postby iab » February 12th, 2013, 11:09 am


iab
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Recently, Dogbert quipped a willingness to practice the same thing for 10,000 hours is a mental disorder.

http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2013-02-07/

I would agree. I am more impressed by those who work smart than those who work hard. It also has the very real possibility of pigeon-holing an individual.

For my .02, I say get enough sleep. And clear your mind for at least 30 minutes everyday in some way - meditation, exercise, whatever. Don't think. You will be surprised how well it provides direction.


SaMi8402
 
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I took all of these items into account while in college, but I wish I had done it more often.

- Take advantage of your school, and surrounding environments. I miss the wood shop, I miss the laser cutter, I miss the print shop, I miss being able to find people outside of my studio to talk to and take in what others were doing.

- Enjoy college! I was definitely in the studio more than I should've been and I don't know if it was more productive. There were nights I would sit there and nothing gets done. If there's a party, get your shit done and party (or read a book if that's more your pace).

- Get some fucking sleep and eat right. You won't feel like shit all the time. Emotionally and physically. I didn't have a problem with this, but it was appalling to see what my peers put themselves through. 2 hours of sleep with redbull and doughnuts are literally destroying your body.

- Explore what you want to do in the future. Don't just do what you've been told to do. Every program has their set of projects, but if you want to do something that is not covered, this is the time to do it. Collaborate, get ideas, and explore.

- Fail Be ok with failure, as it's the only way to learn, and while you're in college, there is limited repercussions.

- Documentation and Portfolio Always do your projects with your portfolio in mind, get those pictures, write down your thoughts at the time, save those sketches. Process in king, and if you can't show it in your portfolio, you're not offering much to your potential employers. A year or two after you're done with a project (or even a month after), you'll wonder why you didn't take more pictures of your model that you threw away.

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ralphzoontjens
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I think the most important thing is to do fully whatever you are doing at the moment. Catch those thoughts that distract you and simply continue with what's actually there in front of you.

100 hours of practice in that concentrated zone will probably get you as far as 1000 hours in a zone where there's an element of stress. I would say, just stay in the moment, and when you need to think and plan, then take a separate moment for that. And don't let social stress take you out, social events also happen within the moment :) It will reduce both the pleasure impulse and the counter/guilt impulse that you need to work hard.

So that, and taking regular moments of reflection. Be self-directed, develop your own vision on your work, and keep setting goals and improving your work. An ultimate purpose is not there to be found, the purpose is in the doing itself.

And of course, enjoy it! When there's no enjoyment, there's just no real point to it and you may as well stop with what you're doing.

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