“At RISD, I felt like school was about learning how to break the rules, which inspires entrepreneurship, regardless of what you’re studying.” – Maeve Jopson
1. What was your major at RISD?
2. How did you connect to the working world? (what have you done since graduation? Internships, jobs, networking, online resources?)
During my senior year at RISD, I did a collaborative degree project with Cynthia Poon (also ID ’13), which has developed into Increment, the company that we are building today. Increment creates playthings for children with disabilities that are appealing to all kids. Since graduation, we have been able to maintain relationships we built with schools like Meeting Street where we found our inspiration in the first place. We were also Maker Fellows at Providence’s business accelerator Betaspring this fall, where we were able to gain a lot of valuable insight into the startup world, and learn what it takes to get a business going.
In addition to Increment, we were lucky enough to find Eone Timepieces, who have a similar mission of inclusive design. We now work for them part-time. They have also provided incredible mentorship for us, and inspire us to keep our mission at the core of our company.
3. How well do you think RISD prepared you for the working world and do you have any suggested improvements for your former department at RISD?
At RISD, I felt like school was about learning how to break the rules, which inspires entrepreneurship, regardless of what you’re studying. ID = physical making skills + bending the rules + developing communication skills + learning how to research + user-centered thinking and doing.
It’s kind of incredible really.
I was lucky enough to take a few classes about production and how to succeed in bringing a product to market. The most important thing I learned in those classes is that the learning never stops. A semester-long course barely skims the surface of such huge subjects. Fortunately, I had teachers who focused on learning by doing, and I’ve been able to keep that mentality.
There are definitely things that any department could do better, but I already see amazing developments in communication, collaboration, and entrepreneurship in the few months since I graduated. As long as RISD keeps encouraging curiosity and learning by making, it will continue to produce incredible graduates with incredible work.
4. What would you advise undergrads to do now to be best prepared later on?
COLLABORATE! Working with other people is amazing and incredibly important, but finding creative people with a RISD work ethic after school is tough.
Also, take advantage of the career center. Make friends with them. They are AMAZING.
5. Is the job you have now what you imagined you would be doing?
It took a while to realize what I did and didn’t want to do. I just knew that I wanted to be making a difference, and I’m happy to say that I’m doing much more than I’d imagined (and having a lot more fun).
6. Share any other part of your story. (I don’t have to include this if you don’t know what to say)
Look out for our Kickstarter, coming Feb 2014!!
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