BI Reflection

Thinking back now on my freshman year, I don’t think I could have been farther from design, at least in terms of what I wanted to do with my life. I arrived to this school as a hopeful premed (yes, really) and my world knew only of biology and chemistry. One and a half years later, I discovered my interest for computer science and an admiration toward the maker community. I had no idea what computer science was or anything, but it was really exciting to see what people did with it. Fast forward two years of struggling, but a lot of learning, I found myself officially declared as a computer science major. That decision—to do computer science and become involved in the engineering community—was the first step in my design career.

Doing computer science exposed me to a lot of amazing groups and individuals. One of the groups was Berkeley Innovation. With BI, I completed my first, portfolio-worthy, design project. Previously, I did a lot of front-end programming, which itself involved a lot of design decisions, but I definitely felt like it all only led up to the work that I’m now doing with BI. One of the first socials that I went to with BI folks was a design night at Autodesk.

Every first Thursday of the month, Autodesk hosts a themed design night that is open to the public at their onsite gallery. I remember feeling so giddy from the thought of going into the city on a weeknight to attend a company-hosted event. Needless to say, I had this child-like grin the whole night. When I got there, the gallery was showcasing a ton of prototypes on design projects that have utilized their software. I was literally a kid in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. There were hospital building scale models, exoskeleton prototypes, 3D printed cars, cellular transports at the molecular level…the list goes on.

Collage of exhibits at Autodesk Gallery

BI at Autodesk Design Night group photo

Being there showed me that design was all around me and it has been that way this whole time. I was so inspired, and I was excited to be so excited. I’ve been back at Autodesk a few times after, and I leave the place thinking, “What have I been doing all my life?” every single time. That’s the kind of career that I want, one that constantly challenges me and pushes my comfort boundaries. That is what design is for me, and hopefully will be for many years to come.

The past four years truly has been a roller coaster ride, and at the end of the day, it was simply my curiosity to learn new things that has led me here. I realize that we all experience things differently, but I encourage you, my reader, to give design a chance. Who knows? It might lead you down your rabbit-hole.