I have always loved creating things that would be both useful and appealing. From sketching designs for building my own small Lego mechanisms, making intricate birthday cards that my friends would always look forward to getting (so much so that they would forget to look at the actual present I bought them) to designing a medical device that would help with back stiffness and muscle relaxation, creating something that brought joy always made me extremely proud.
In high school I did various activities that would help me learn both technical and soft skills, for example obtaining pitching skills by competing in the Public Speaking Competition and learning several technical skills by taking part at the First Tech Challenge competition alongside my high school’s robotics team, in the construction department. Other than construction, I did a lot of designs for the team’s posters, roll-ups, diplomas for Velocity-organised events, never losing touch with my artistic ability. I found my passion for industrial design when working as an UI/UX designer for the app Biosense, an app that is supposed to measure how clean the air in a room is, for the company NAPA Romania.
During my first year at TU/e, there have been countless challenges I had to face. Most of them were related to hard skills, and more specifically my inexperience when encountering technical difficulties. I have learned more than I could have imagined, and developed not only in the technical departments, but also in the soft disciplines.
My first goal when coming to this university was to develop my technical skills in programming and technical sketching. In the first two quartiles however, I broadened my horizons and dived into more hard disciplines: complex prototyping with hard materials, 3D modelling and printing, and working with circuits. I am proud to say that I have managed to develop in all of these skills. Researching is also something I have learned to do in a professional way, by following courses such as USE Basics, From Idea To Design and Project 1. This allowed me to gain valuable insights into the wants and needs of the stakeholders involved in my future projects.
I am also satisfied that I had the opportunity to greatly improve my soft skills as well, such as pitching, organisation and using my ability to relate to the users. All of these skills I acquired not only by following the set curriculum but also by attending extra curricular activities such as Design Cases.
Every day that I gain more knowledge, I become more balanced as a designer, and am able to reach higher and higher in my ambitions and goals (both short term and long term).
I have always preferred working in a team to working alone. After all, bringing concepts and designs to life requires teamwork and communication between all involved stakeholders. I enjoy collaborating with my team, often finding myself as a sort of ‘peacemaker’, looking for compromises and encouraging communication within the team members. I also enjoy holding presentations and pitching my ideas and designs, and interacting with people and getting to see the world from their perspective. After all, this helps me be an empathic designer that is able to design with the user in mind.
Ambition and perfectionism can be as much of a blessing as well as a curse. Time management is something I often struggled with: during FITD for instance, by being so invested in the project, I would forget to take breaks, which caused me to get burned out quickly. Thus, I made sure to improve my organisation skills during Project 1, creating a detailed time table for myself with all the tasks I was in charge of, as well as time slots so I have enough time for both work and breaks. I learned how to use the 4 levels of prioritising tasks method: Urgent & Important (Priority 1), Not Urgent & Important (Priority 2), Urgent & Not Important (Priority 3), Not Urgent & Not Important (Priority 4). My productivity highly increased after using this method, and allowed me to no longer get overwhelmed when university work and extracurricular activities pile up.
I’ve always known the importance of becoming a balanced designer. I pride myself in my ability to create concepts of both practical and aesthetically pleasing products. But in order to bring the design to life, I must learn more technical skills other than sketching and complex prototyping. I wish to do more mathematical-programming and go more in depth than what I have already learned so far, and dive in further into the usage of electronics. I also wish to develop my skills within the Business and Entrepreneurship expertise area.
To achieve this, I plan on taking the USE track “Internet of things” offered by TU/e to learn the specified skills, as well as courses such as Digital Craftsmanship and Intelligent Interactive Products. I wish to work at least 4 hours a week for every skill and keep track of my progress so that I know what still needs improvement. I also plan on working on my hard skills during Project 2 and Project 3, as well as taking on extracurricular activities such as Design Cases, workshops, presentations and so on. I also wish to self develop outside of the set curriculum by joining a student team (team Ignite, once again in order to improve my technical skills) or joining the Honors Academy (the Empowerment for Health and Wellbeing track).