Poonam Patel

Class of 2021


At 16 years old, fashion was Punam’s passion (and she also liked to rhyme). She studied design and fashion, and explored diverse roles in the field for the next seven years. She served as a costume designer for a film, a stylist for an international magazine, a fashion week curator, an entrepreneur for a clothing brand, and a creative director for an innerwear brand. At the heart of her work was how her product or service would make her audience “feel,” often trying to make users smile. She strived to create deeper connections through empathy and delight.

Fascinated by how design changes in its varied contexts, her curiosity led her to Shortlist, an impact startup that helps match thousands of candidates to job opportunities in India and East Africa. At age 28, this was the beginning of her journey in experience design. She enrolled in a few summer workshops at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, which exposed her to a whole new world of tools, ideas, and thinking. She was eager to learn more about the intersection of her previous work experience and design philosophies.  

She’s excited to watch, learn, play and evolve with fellow explorers at SVA!