Empathy Map & Problem
Risteard Mac Liam
Design Thinking @ Stanford
• Mary, 27 years old
• Recently graduated as a mature student from
Trinity College Dublin with a BA in Art &
• Now working for Royal Irish Academy on a
four volume history of Irish Art & Architecture.
I found a job very quickly
I think if you work hard in your final year it helps.
I was lucky.
My thesis topic was different as it was about architecture in Ireland as opposed to
Europe… It meant I had done something more relevant to the job market here.
I’d to make sure that I stood up for myself sometimes; that I wasn’t in work as a
favour for me, like not being pressurised into not taking holidays.
Sometimes I’ve felt underappreciated in work.
I am responsible for a huge amount, a whole volume [of book to be published] but some people in
there don’t know this or realise this.
It’s up to me to tell them but I don’t know whether I should. Jenny [her boss] does at least. When she
went away on study leave more people got to know more about what I was doing. But at first it
wasn’t like that.
Once I had done a huge amount of research in one area and Jenny took all the credit at a
presentation, I couldn’t believe it.
But then one or two days later at a bigger meeting she said that none of this would have been
possible without me!
It’s important to take an interest in art and
architecture projects outside of work.
It’s hard to know whether to go back to college
an do a master’s when you have a full-time job.
I have a great job.
I worked hard in my final year.
I had lots of part-time and full-time jobs before I finished college and school.
I got an internship immediately after leaving college with the National Gallery of Ireland.
My thesis supervisor told me to go for a job in the Royal Irish Academy.
She [my thesis supervisor] gave me a good reference.
I got a part-time job which became a full-time job.
I’ve never taken a sick day.
[Outside of work] I’m involved in the development of a
tenement museum and refurbishment of the
[Presentation Convent primary] school on George’s Hill.
I applied for one [a Master’s in Digital Curation] in Trinity
[College Dublin] but wasn’t sure whether to take it.
In the end, I talked to my bosses and they said I could
keep working on a part-time basis, like 3 days a week,
which is great.
It’s important to work hard.
It’s important to work hard in college, especially in your
It’s important to stand up for yourself in work not
It’s probably more important to hold on to your job
than leaving it to upskill.
It’s great being involved in projects outside of work.
A course in Digital Curation is a gateway to better employment in the
The job is great.
Hard work in college will pay off.
There is a strong connection between final year in college and the world
of work – it may not be always obvious.
Mary feels lucky that she completed a thesis on something in Dublin and
relevant to the world of work here, saving her having to look for jobs abroad.
She gets on with her thesis supervisor and former lecturers.
She feels she has been very lucky.
Upskilling is essential.
Very happy in her job.
1. Mary needs to find a way to be more
assertive at work.
2. Mary needs to find a way to demonstrate to
others in work her level of involvement with
the current project.
1. There is a chance that some of the great
work Mary does will be underestimated or
2. Management may not be aware of any
issues that Mary may have in work.
3. Management might unintentionally make
life more difficult for Mary if they don’t
understand her needs.