Empathize and define assignment design thinking course stanford university_student rohit varma_august 06, 2013


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This is an assignment I am required to submit as part of the online course in Design Thinking Skills that I am taking in August 2013 from Stanford University. If you are not a Stanford faculty or fellow student, please ignore this document, it may not be of any interest to you.

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Empathize and define assignment design thinking course stanford university_student rohit varma_august 06, 2013

  1. 1. EMPATHIZE AND DEFINE ASSIGNMENT Stakeholder: A recent (2012 passout) bachelors in architecture graduate from Mumbai,India, facing the reality and dilemmas of establishing a successful career. An empathy map and a problem statement are given below. A. EMPATHY MAP SAY I enjoyed my four year bachelors in architecture, it enabled me build on my strengths and skills as a person. I topped the class! Campus placements were near non-existent, but that’s typical of our profession, I think. Also, ours is a new School of Architecture, even though it’s part of a well known, established university. Some of the entry level architect jobs are sheer drudgery. A good many firms don’t do very creative or great work either. It’s tough landing a real classy job. I interviewed with and got an internship with a local firm, which later lead to a job offer with them. Unfortunately, the long commute (and long hours), with the low starting salary made me quit within a few months. I found another job near my home. The work was a little better too, though there were periods when we didn’t have much real stuff to do. And the pay was near similar. I have recently quit this firm to pursue a Master’s in the field (Architecture) at the Hoffmann School of Architecture, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I hope the 2 year Master’s will give me a wider perspective. This qualification should also prove an asset to my career, especially if I were to choose to start a firm later on. Job prospects in the U.S. in general – given the economy - and visa/ green card chances for overseas students are both poor for architects, I am told, so it looks like I will be returning to India soon after my Masters (:
  2. 2. But if I do return home, I will probably end up joining one of the very same architecture firms that exist here in Mumbai. I hope my prospects improve! I have this nagging feeling the profession is poorly paid, at least for junior architects. The family is advancing me a big loan (we’ve agreed it’s best seen as a long term loan) for my 2 years’s masters in the U.S., and I really don’t know how whether my pay and salary prospects in the coming years is anyway going to make this possible. I sometimes feeling guilty of taking so much of their money. I will try for an assistantship in the second year, though it’s competitive, I am told. DO This person was busy seen making preparations for her impeding departure to the Univ of Michigan (on August 17th ). One of her dearest friends recently (August 2013) graduated with flying colours (Honours) with a bachelor’s from the very same school of architecture, and the two friends have been having extended conversations on the phone. Our protagonist is currently networking actively with a large number of her friends, as she prepares to leave for her Masters: a few days away. THINK Career will take care of itself later on. Let me live up and enjoy student life - in a new country - for now. I wonder how well I will settle into the new place and home and new housemates I have chosen! What shopping do I need to do from India for now !? FEEL I am relieved that I don’t have to think of job matters for 2 more years! An added degree (Masters) that too from a good graduate school in the U.S., is something to be really proud of. I am lucky my family has chosen to support me financially.
  3. 3. B. PROBLEM STATEMENT The young architect needs a way to map a somewhat assured career path because hers is a profession believed to be characterized by a lot of struggle in the early years. *** 06.08.2013