Tell us why you're the best applicant in under 50 words
I’m very passionate about what I do and constantly eager to learn about new innovations. I’m a fast learner and a great team player in a new environment. In challenging situations, I become a good listener by pushing critical thinkings forward, while still retain self-confidence in achieving the goals.
Give us your bio in under 500 words
I'd like to call myself a storyteller and creative thinker passionate about observing interesting things around me. I'm a senior undergrad studying Graphic Design in New York currently, but also have a wide interest in films, interactive exhibition, photography, and sustainability. I lived in China, UK, and the US, and I speak Mandarin and English; my international study experience not only allowed me to meet people from all backgrounds, but also made me more culturally inclusive and open to learning about new things and ideas. I have also had several internships where I worked with people of all ages and backgrounds outside my major field, which I found super rewarding and exciting talking to different individuals. I'm always curious about new innovations, whether it be VR, AR, or interactive design since I don't want to limit my capacity within the traditional graphic design disciplines. Currently, I'm learning about user experience and hope to get into this field later. I love looking for inspiration through different forms of storytelling, so watching an episode of “Black Mirror” or going to a Broadway show can be just as inspiring as people watching or taking street photos in NYC.
1. What's the most courageous thing you've ever done?
Going to a boarding school in the UK at the age of 14 on my own, as a girl who has never been anywhere without parental accompany could be the most courageous thing I’ve done, especially when language barrier was still my biggest problem at the time. But looking back now, I could not have become who I am without those hardest yet rewarding days of living within a community of different backgrounds, I learned to be more compassionate, understanding, and respectful. I have also learned to be more expressive and outgoing since I had to be psychologically independent living in foreign lands. This experience also made me much more willing to try new things rather than staying in the comfort zone, and I never regret going through any new and challenging experiences, because they all helped to shape my identity and vision of the world.
2. How are creativity and innovation related?
Everyone is capable of being creative, because we all have the ability to generate novel ideas and make unusual connections between things in our own ways, yet innovation is a more sophisticated process that involves implementing new ideas into valuable services and products. Innovation relies on creativity, but it requires more courage, determination, and critical thinking to challenge the status quo. For example, creativity could be individual ideas of making interface interaction smoother and more user-friendly, and innovation connects the dots together by driving forward-thinking ideas into functional, easy-to-use, and desirable products such as touch screen devices. Being creative doesn’t guarantee innovation, but being innovative must have creativity, this is why companies need to establish a stronger relationship between creativity and innovation, as it could turn effective ideas into effective processes which then produce effective products that bring changes to the world.
3. Why do companies need clarity and creativity?
While creativity allows companies to push the boundary of normality which makes them stand out and explore the endless possibilities, clarity determines the broader picture by setting a clear goal and focus for where companies are heading. When companies face competition in the market, they need to be clear on what is expected from them (i.e. what’s the mission statement) and how to achieve and move beyond expectations (i.e. what’s the strategy). Clarity ensures companies to follow the mission statement and focus on the problem, while creativity allows companies to generate original content and strategy that attract the audience and stand out from competitors. Take Apple as an example, its core ideology is to “think differently”, and it implements it well by following the goal which turns complexity to simplicity so that their products evoke greater participation. Clarity sets the direction for where creativity goes, and creativity makes clarity more memorable and competitive.
4. You have 30 minutes of free time. What do you do with it?
I would use the extra 30 minutes to keep my mental and physical state sane. I would take a break, get away from my working area, and do simple exercises, like stretching or simple dance move. If the weather is good, I might grab my camera and go to the roof to take pictures of what I think create interesting compositions or stories. Sometimes when I’m in the middle of a book that I’ve been reading, I would like to use the time to read a chapter or two.
5. What is one risky and bold goal in life you have? Or, if you could dedicate your life to solving one problem, what would it be?
If possible, I would want to dedicate my life to bringing powerful changes to the world’s sustainability through design. I have a minor in sustainability, and through classes that I've taken which explored the human relationship with nature and interracial communities, I realized how much resources we take for granted from nature, and how it evokes problems in environmental justice. I believe as a designer we play an important societal role in a community and have the responsibility to bring new visions to environmental and social issues. I would feel accomplished if my work could bring awareness and a sense of urgency that prompt people to take action for sustainable living and environmental equity; making one solution isn’t hard, but changing people's mindset is.
6. Explain your creative process
I always start with brainstorming. I would write down the main title on a blank sheet of paper and start elaborating from there, which includes sub-themes, keywords, definitions, sketches, and post-its. The main point is to do a “brain dump” and not to limit any possibilities. The next stage involves broad research on a few highlighted points, if something worth exploring come up during the research, I would go more in-depth into the specific topic. I like to look at the bibliography or external link embedded in the research, since it's a great opportunity to explore related topics from multi perspectives. Then I start sketching ideas with pen and paper. This is the fun part where I gather all knowledge and inspirations built up to this point and just start producing various versions. I don’t like limiting my options yet but have to keep the central question I'm exploring in mind, and when I think I have enough ideas to proceed with, I would select the more fleshed out ideas to refine them digitally. This stage also involves many rounds because I need to constantly look back at the initial question and evaluate if my solution aligns with the vision, I would also ask professors or friends for feedback on the viability of the idea. The final stage is presenting the final design to others for critiques, and this is the stage where I hear more voices on any potential developments, or perhaps what opportunities it offers to explore more critical questions. Constructive critiques offer valuable insights that help me look at the problem from a different perspective.
7. What is the best advice that you have been given?
"Enjoy the process" is one piece of advice I'm never tired of hearing. The closer it gets to completing my college degree, the more I value processes. Once in the professional field, you rarely get as experimental projects like designing letterforms using hair, or re-contextualizing a chatroom through a board game like you would at school. To have fun and not be apologetic in the process of creating have become very valuable assets to me since the process allows me to make mistakes and embrace them. If a younger designer asks me for advice in the future, I would say the same thing: Take care of your process as you do with the final outcome. The process is not less important or just the path to a goal, it allows you to jump out of a target-oriented mindset and expand your perspectives on a subject matter. When I dive deep into process-driven research like my thesis I'm developing currently, I feel more psychologically connected to the topic I want to explore deeper.
8. What is your definition of creativity?
To me, being creative is to be sensitive and critical to the surroundings, and to have unique insights to questions raised from observations. Creative people like paying attention to overlooked subjects around them and giving them new definitions or values. Creativity is not the same as inventions which rely entirely on creating something that never exists, rather, creativity emphasizes the ability to find connections between things and to rethink how a familiar case study could be looked at and challenged from a different perspective. In the creative process, people don’t just sit and wait for epiphanies, a good creative knows how to draw connections from memories and experiences which help them generate new ideas.
9. What 10 songs are on your favorite playlist right now?
Vision of Gideon
Way back home--Shaun
Flammable and Explosive--Chen Li
That girl said to me
Bad guy--Billie Eilish
I hate you I love you
10. How do you want people to remember you?
A creative who remakes connections of experiences and people;
A critique who values independent and critical thinking;
An adventurer who likes stories and little surprises in life;
A passionate lover of what she learns, creatives, and explores;
And an authentic person you would meet in real life and want to have a real conversation with.
I look forward to hearing back if I am the person you want to have a conversation with.
Passport is valid for next 12 months
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