Sunday, February 03, 2008

B-school Bound

by Christine Mortesen 0 comments

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Design Float

Yep...that's right. Business school. This is the latest and greatest in crazy ideas I've come up with. Second would be my plan to run a half marathon once each month this year. One down 11 to go! But I digress...

Yes, Business school! Why? Why not more design schooling? Because I feel I've reached a point in my career in which in order to improve my main skill set of Design I just need to continue to design. Additionally, I feel that improvement in this area will come naturally as I continue to work at my current job. In other words practice makes perfect! And perfect is what I'll continue to strive for! However, that's not the skill set I feel I need to strengthen most right now. Instead, I'd really like to expand my business knowledge in general and more specifically, my marketing skills as they relate to brands, eCommerce, New Media, Human-computer interaction etc.

To do this, I realize, I could take various one-off courses that deal specifically with any topic I'd like; but that doesn't quite hold the same weight that a graduate degree holds. Aside from this more and more people these days are pursuing graduate and post-graduate degrees to advance their careers. Plus, it doesn't hurt that I LOVE school, always have. (I know...I'm a nerd)

I'm also very lucky. When I was 5 I just wanted to color all day, at 10 I wanted to be an Illustrator, by 12 I discovered Typography and fell in love with Design, and by 16 I had a website (that's old by today's standards but for 1996 that's pretty darn good. As a side note, 1996 is also the year Macromedia first released the WYSIWYG HTML editor Dreamweaver). My point is that I've always known for the most part what I've wanted to do as far as a career. I've had some kind of direction; now I'm just refining and narrowing in on that direction.

I also see this as a way to remain well-rounded. This has also been a life long goal of mine since studying DaVinci, the original Renaissance Man. Most of you will find this saying familiar: Jack of all trades; Master of none. But that's not how I see it. Conversely, I look to an old Japanese saying that sates, "I have 9 knives and they're all sharp". I ultimately feel that having a graduate degree in simply another sharp knife in my drawer.

Why now? There are two main reasons for my timing. One: As I've previously mentioned, I've reached a point in my career in that only continued experience doing what I do will advance my main skill set of Design. Two: I've always had a plan to continue on with school but wanted to have significant real-world experience first. Having at least 5 years of solid experience under my belt has definitely given me insights into what to pursue a Masters in that I otherwise might not have had. Additionally, as I'd like to pursue more higher-level and strategic work that I'm often not looked at for in my current organization, a degree in this area might change some minds.

No matter what specific area I choose, i know this will not be easy no matter how well I've done in school in the past. I'd be lying if I said this doesn't make me nervous.

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Christine Mortensen
Visual Designer, UX Advocate, Social Medial Maven, Interactive Media Strategist, Blogger, and in my spare time I'm a Runner, Volleyball Player, and Bloody Mary Fan

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