Some people might not think of Parsons as a place to gain business-school skills. What was unique about the Design and Management program's approach to business?
When I was applying to colleges, I had a hard time deciding whether to pursue a fine arts degree or more technical studies. I chose the BBA Design and Management degree because I thought Parsons would prepare me better than other schools for the business and environmental challenges facing my generation. The program taught me that collaboration and studying problems from a broad perspective is critical, especially now that entrepreneurs have to think more ethically. Also, I was allowed to take courses in silk screening, design for aging populations, Web design, and digital audio and video, which gave me hard skills and got me thinking about business opportunities. That gave me the confidence to start the fair-trade jewelry company Pokuasi with my sister, who at the time was a senior in college.
As one of five students working with the United Nations Development Business for my senior thesis, I had the opportunity to consult with a real client. On that project, we dealt with the challenges of working as a group, and got to understand the perspective of designers in a business management environment.