Opinion | Design Education

21 Oct

College is a transitional period in most peoples’ lives. My dad dropped out of school after sophomore year because he figured he’s learned all he needed to, and wanted to start working. He’s probably one of the smartest business men I know, and he doesn’t have a degree.

I learned a lot in college. It was a tough time, but I don’t regret anything. I was challenged, inspired, discouraged, frustrated, confused, and sometimes I wanted to quit. But in the end, I’m fairly happy with my higher education experience. However, there were some gaps in the curriculum.

What they did not teach me are some very important business and client interaction skills. Here are a few things I would’ve been better off if I had learned about them in school:

1. File management
-this is key when files are passed between co-workers. Everyone needs to be able to work on the same file and not be confused. Keep it organized

2. Pricing
-pricing always changes and it depends on the client, project, experiences and many other factors. Unfortunately, pricing was rarely to never spoken of in my education. Now I realize that my first couple freelance projects were way under-priced.

3. Presentation skills
-I’m not talking about your biology presentation, I’m talking about pitching an idea to a client. This takes a lot of preparation, charisma, and confidence.

4. Double, triple, and quadruple checking your work.
-in the real world, mistakes cost money. So avoid them at all costs, but if it happens, we are human.

5. As long as the client is happy, your design will suffer
-Don’t get too attached to any of your work, ultimately the client is king

Your education is the result of the work you put into it. You create your education experience, so don’t take anything for granted, because the real world is a whole different beast.

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