Lesson #6: Understand who you are, and tell that story through your work.
—Barbara deWilde, Class of 2013
Though I was eager to move away from my previous design life as a graphic designer in the world of publishing and editorial, I knew that I possessed hard-won skills and credentials in that area, as well as a deep love for text and content.
Instead of diminishing the print-related side of my resume, I decided that I would position myself as a bridge between two worlds: the world of interaction design and digital media and the world of traditional publishing design. I am equally passionate about both worlds and have rare experience in both by virtue of my degree from this progressive program and through my past work experience.
The important repositioning of the past work allowed me to tell a story about my design experiences through the lens of employer needs. Content is king, whether it is in print or digital form, so whenever I wrote an overview of a past project, I wrote from the point of view of designing content. I only included work that added new dimension to my design narrative instead of redundancy. As a result, the conversations I had with employers were often about the past and the future of my design work as influenced by my MFA.
Barbara deWilde is a User Experience Strategist (Independent Contractor) at The New York Times, New York City, NY, USA.