March 19, 2016

Back in Chicago as a design researcher

For those who read my last post, you know I was on the hunt for an apprenticeship for Term 2. Much to my (and my mom’s and dad’s) relief, I have started with Conifer Research in Chicago as a Design Researcher!

I had a running start last Wednesday, March 9th. I came into the office and was immediately handed an 84-page slide deck to familiarize myself with the project I’m working on. I devoured it. The rest of the week I collaborated with the project’s designer to communicate our insights to the client with a set of visual one-pagers.

I just spent today drafting a storyboard for the video we will compile to show the client our research - essentially what that means is I got paid for sketching and writing all day to show the progression of this video. Though I’m only two weeks into this apprenticeship, I am already calling it the perfect fit. The processes we go through suit my learning and working style. I dive deep into details and come out with an overview of the insights to share.

As if living in Chicago wasn’t wonderful enough, I am also rooming with a few former Ei students. I live about a four-minute walk from the Lakeshore Trail and take a rickety ride on the CTA’s Red Line into the Loop each day. My office is right by Millennium Park and our break room overlooks the park and the lake. Plus, they provide coffee and tea.

Needless to say, I am loving where I’m at. On the side, I’m also keeping up with my newsletter – Experience is the New Classroom – which will introduce a college junior doing entrepreneurial projects while in school, a teacherpreneur, an artist, and a former teacher who founded his own school next week. If you’re interested in learning more, subscribe to the newsletter here.

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