I love languages having taken French for fun, dabbled in Hindi with my current project as Dutch. I love constantly learning how the world works and having previously studied in Australia and France, I have come to understand that which I love, namely creative problem solving in many a context, making sense of the world and creating a [visual] language that is stronger than words.
As a Strategic Designer, I help create strategies that will turn a good product into a profitable business, as a good product or service in isolation has little value. My academic studies and personal experiences have enabled me to better understand users and the relationship between a product and business, using stories to help a product reach its full potential. As a Strategic designer I am fan of innovation, start ups, sustainability and the sharing economy.
When I was ten years old, I told my mother I wanted to be a missionary in Africa, and she said that first I would have to get a day job to support myself. When I was eleven, I confronted her yet again and said I wanted to be an air hostess and she just rolled her eyes. From that moment on, I set my mind on making a difference one way or another.
Fast forward ten years, I am in my final months of a Masters degree in strategic design after successfully completing design school. This is as good as it gets for me, I love what I do, and after showing my mother the Rickshaw2.0 project in the form of a fancy book, I can officially say she is proud of me.
Kathryn was a student in my course “The Designer as Strategist”. The course was a unique journey into the role designers may play in strategy development. The major theme of the course was the development and maintenance of a long-term sustainable competitive advantage. It was a privilege to have Kathryn in the course. Her passion for strategy was evident from the beginning, and her contribution in class was of a high standard. She showed strong analytical skills and the ability to back up and see the big picture. As a designer, she brought to the course a strong appreciation of the perspective of the customer in the development of products and services, an ability to look at strategy problems from a fresh perspective and an awareness of how strategic concepts are carried forward into concrete action. She brought a great deal of creativity and energy to her team assignment. Their final output was a documentary film that represented different perspectives on this fascinating topic. It was a courageous thing for the team to do, as no other team presented its findings in this form, and it highlighted different perspectives at Priva. Most importantly, it showed a willingness to take a risk and learn from it. The team’s energy was palpable and Kathryn was a central player. Students like Kathryn are unusual. A high degree of creativity, strong analytical ability, and massive enthusiasm: a powerful combination for any employer.
As the lecturer in the course ‘Entrepreneurship’ at TU Delft, I was able to spend time with her in an intensive innovation workshop that lead to the creation of many creative business concepts. It was evident of Kathryn’s interest in product innovation through her motivation, enthusiasm, and inquisitive nature wanting to learn more about entrepreneurship and innovation during our time together. She excelled during the team simventure competition showing good communication and teamwork skills and an understanding for new business strategy. Her collaborative thinking, brainstorming and mindmapping skills were evident during the creative sessions, co-collaborating with her other team members to come up with an original and marketable business idea.
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Kathryn is a highly motivated and self started person. Her drive has taken her across continents where she has studied and experience life and diverse cultures. We met developing a marketing product strategy assignment for Red Wing shoes. I was impressed by her conceptual, design and writing skills. She was able to easily structure research findings, extract relevant aspects and communicate it well. Her strong affinity for trends and fashion was also a very valuable contribution to the project. She has developed Design Thinking material for Thought Refinery for projects within the hospitality sector in the Netherlands. She has joined and deployed various stages of the Design Thinking to help our clients to reach innovative and user centric solutions. She has also supported marketing communication activities for Thought Refinery connected to the release of our the movie “The DNA of Awesome Brands”. She easily finds ways to complete the work to be done, suggests and propose alternatives, and has the availability to extract and communicate differentiating aspects of the movie story.
Kathryn recently followed the course Design Consultancy Practice at the TU Delft. She showed a lot of interest in this course and I found she was really eager to learn about entrepreneurship and setting up and managing a creative business. Kathryn is able to look and think beyond boundaries and I am sure that she has the skills and ability to be successful as an entrepreneur or in any management position.
I was Kathryn’s supervisor as a coach of the Technology Management course. Kathryn was a highly motivated coach, and as head of 60 students, she completed her tasks in a professional manner. She worked effectively with her colleagues, and prepared for sessions by learning, comprehending and critically analyzing Philips Healthcare technologies. It was a pleasure to work with her and with her entrepreneurial spirit and leading skills, I would recommend her to any company that wants to work with her.
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Kathryn is an active student, willing to participate in open discussions as well as present her own ideas on subject matter. She works well within a group environment and is strong in her individual assignments. She openly listens to directions and her positive attitude towards her classwork is shown in the work that she produces. Within Industrial Design Theory, Kathryn showed strong research skills within her chosen topics and produced critical concise papers voicing her own ideals on the issues raised.
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I had the pleasure of teaching Kathryn in both open studio classes and formal lecture based classes. I found Kathryn to be an attentive listener, taking instruction with a positive attitude. She is an excellent team player and does not hesitate in sharing knowledge with her colleagues. Kathryn is an enthusiastic and passionate designer and has a strong desire to perform well and has worked hard and meticulously to achieve excellent results. Finding enormous inspiration whilst studying in France, Kathryn is now seeking to broaden herself even further with an experience in the Netherlands. I encourage her ambition and recommend her as a high achieving student.
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SCHOOLING & EXPERIENCE
University of Technology // Delft, The Netherlands // Msc of Strategic Product design // 2012 – 2014 (anticipated)
Université Robert Schuman III // Strasbourg, France // Certificate of French language and literature, Level C1 // 2011
École de Management // Strasbourg, France // Cultural Exchange // 2010
University of Technology // Sydney, Australia // Bachelor of Intergrated Product design and Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (double degree) // 2007 – 2013
Thought Refinery // Amsterdam, The Netherlands // collaboration with Horeca Nederland
Enviu // Rotterdam // collaboration with SMV Wheels
Rotterdam School or Management //Rotterdam, The Netherlands // collaboration with Philips Healthcare
Other somewhat pertinent previous occupations include Freelance Graphic Designer, art school teacher, waitress, secretary, swim school instructor and Disneyland attractions consultant. (I have put them in order of relevance, which is always debatable.)
ACQUIRED SKILLS & INTERESTS
Design Thinker I like putting my design skills to work in areas outside of design
Strategist Developing creative competitive advantage for companies
Visual Copywriting I can convince you to buy a product without words
Adobe Creative Suite Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, bits of after effects
Solidworks 2012 Several courses throughout bachelor
Microsoft Office I can make a presentation for you and type documents, however my excel could be better, though I could take a crash youtube course to improve them if you prefer.
Prototyping Basic Arduino, Paper prototyping, 3d Printing, Laser Cutting, Vacuum Forming, Basic Sewing
Photography I experiment in Analog and Digital photography, but what I enjoy the most is the developing process.
Confident French I also experiment with Hindi and Dutch. I recently trialled myself, successfully seeing myself through a whole supermarket experience in the Dutch language, (the second language of love)
I like to meet people, and as such, I was President of the French committee at UTS, international ambassador of UTS Leadership and Development program, ambassador of UTS Design and Architecture faculty, Red Cross SAM Ambassador, and more recently Design co-ordinator of the Energy Club Events committee.
I have an ambitious spirit, earning the The Royal Haskoning DHV Prize in First year at TU Delft, competing as a finalist in the UTS Entrepreneurial Competition, placing third in the under 18s Australian National Snowboarding Championships and third in the NSW schoolgirl head of river, and winning the university photography prize during my time overseas.
Under Construction I am currently working on a website with entrepreneur and friend, Yan Chen about food and loneliness, but I can’t spill the beans on the rest of it just yet.
I am interested in BoP Projects, the sharing economy and sustainability.
I have Miscellaneous hobbies such as waterproofing valuable personal items, e-reading, cooking, origami, herb gardens, and cutting out maps and creating new countries.
I also like to see what makes you tick; understanding how people work and their reactions to situations. Don’t be weirded out if I place a strange object in front of you to see how you respond or if you find me recording our conversation. If I like your voice enough, I will turn it into a song.
Sports rowing, swimming, cycling & skiing, and starting up rock climbing. I have dabbled in spear fishing, but after close shark encounters, I have crossed that off the list.
Want a copy of my CV? Holla here