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The personal updates of my year as a founding student in the Experience Institute. 
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Fall Chicago skyline!

Leaving Chicago!

Hey all,

It's been a while since my last update and I'll be playing catch-up. Here's a brief overview!
  1. WORK
  2. LIFE
  3. LOOKING BACK
  4. "MUFFINS" MICRO-UPDATES (new schedule) and SEATTLE!
1. WORK: I dealt with my first screaming-mad client, led internal and client meetings, contributed to user research and discovery sessions for a mobile app, helped launch two WordPress sites, and learned a lot about the ins-and-outs of web design/development in a creative agency. 

I also made some lamps for fun. It was getting dark in the office around 5pm, so I offered to make some lamps for the desks as a personal project. This turned into a very involved process, complete with Pinterest board (started by the creative director) and many hours on the laser cutter on my evenings and weekends. I wrote a post for the Ei blog, Being Enlightened (ha), on the process and lessons learned while building lamps, if you are so inclined. Pics in the footer!
 
Sketch (load images!)
The Doejo crew. If you've ever wondered what I'd look like with facial hair, wonder no more. Bonus points: One of these photos is not photoshopped. Guess who owns the moustache!

2. LIFE: Winter in Chicago was COLD. Really really cold. I don't think I'll ever be able to complain about being cold in California again. Good news is I adapted, and caught myself saying things like "It's a nice warm 30 degrees today!" A couple weeks ago we got hit by the "polar vortex", where it was -40 degrees F with the windchill. I went outside and thought my eyeballs were going to freeze. 

Some highlights:
Sticking to ink instead of graphite next time.

3. LOOKING BACK:
As a final of sorts, each of us students had to give a Pecha Kucha (20 slides x 20 seconds each) talk on what we learned during our last term. The subject of my talk was "Managing Designers is Like Herding Cats," dealing with balancing the roles of designer and managing designers, complete with a couple cat memes.

It's been a little over a year since I graduated and left Cal back in December 2012.  It's never easy packing up and saying goodbye to people yet another place, and I was definitely getting hit by nostalgia. Chicago is a great city, but I'll always love the Bay Area.
4. "Muffin" MICRO-UPDATES: New update schedule! As you may have noticed, my monthly updates haven't been monthly in a while. Baking analogy: the large monthly update is like an elaborate 6-layer dark chocolate cake with homemade buttercream frosting, which seems awesome, but takes a long time and is way too much for one sitting. I'll be doing smaller weekly "muffin" updates, bite-sized and more manageable, with the goal of dozen of them for the next round. 

Coming up next in February:
I'm leaving for Seattle on Wednesday! I'll be doing cool things with sound and architecture for the experience design studio of an international architecture firm. More details next week! In the meantime, if you have any connections or recommendations for things to do/eat/places to stay, please let me know. I may try to bring my bike up there. 

Thank you all for sticking around, I always love hearing from you. Onward!

Cheers,
-April
If you'd like to check out snippets of what my Ei classmates have been up to, check out the tagboard or the links at the bottom!

Missed my October newsletter? Read it here!
Copyright © 2013 April Soetarman, All rights reserved.


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