I love design, and I wish I had formally studied it as a bachelor. Instead, I studied Business Administration through which I found my passion for startups, technology, and building products and services. Something that I have realized upon reflection is that being an entrepreneur is all about design. It’s about solving problems for users. Bringing technology, marketing, user needs, and a business case together to create products for a more sophisticated future.
I want to ‘master’ design because, for me, it is at the core of everything I do and believe in. It's creative, it's user-focused, it's process, it's collaborating with different backgrounds, it's branding, it's marketing, it's strategy and beyond all: it's creating new things. By doing this master’s program I hope to get a better theoretical and practical understanding of design.
I am sure that this master’s program will inspire me creatively. I have always enjoyed the process of creative output. For example, during high school, I did an art program at the renowned KABK (art academy) in Den Haag. Later on, during my studies in business, I was not able to get my creative juices flowing as much as I would have liked. Luckily, since my graduation, I have regained it. I creatively stimulate myself by doing different little challenges such as my current writing challenge. For the last 71 days (and counting), I have been writing at least 300 words on various topics per day. Such challenges keep me motivated to try and learn new things. In my work, I strive to seek creative and original solutions which I will further describe in my portfolio.
I studied Digital Innovation at Hyper Island, which has an entirely different way of teaching: learning-by-doing. This was eye-opening for me. Considering that I come from a business study where the main way of learning is still one-way in a big lecture hall, I learned a lot about working in teams, reflection, personal values, and building digital products through design thinking. I am looking forward to working in a similar setting at the master in Digital Design.
After my bachelors, I obtained quite some experience in the field:
In late 2016 I started to learn about Blockchain. I wrote my thesis on this subject in the sharing economy which inspired me to later co-found a cryptocurrency investment platform called Able. Our mission was to make crypto investing a more understandable endeavor by building an exceptional user experience. Unfortunately, the platform failed due to the blockchain bear market, but the experience and lessons were there nevertheless. Last year, I co-founded Acaboo, an interactive study book platform. We believe that educational (book) content in the more traditional format is ready to be challenged; therefore, we have been working on a digital solution. Acaboo has been one of the most challenging projects I have ever worked on since the education and publishing industries are even more complex markets than we expected. I worked on the design and development of the platform which taught me many valuable lessons.
Finally, I would like to talk about learning and gaining knowledge. I believe that you can learn anything through the internet and books. It’s how I started my freelance business building websites, it’s how I learned design and UX, and it’s what I will continue to do during the rest of my personal life and career. The added value of this degree is that one can also learn through people and learning-by-doing. I would love to work with a diverse group of people, both from a cultural and academic background. I would thrive in an open environment with 24 students that are ready to learn, collaborate with and inspire each other. I have an unconventional background compared to the average person applying for this program, so I hope to both learn a lot from them while also inspiring others with my knowledge of marketing, business, entrepreneurship and working in fast-paced environments.
To conclude, I am not your typical designer in the sense that I make pixel perfect design layouts. What I can say is that I will bring a strong entrepreneurial background to the table; entrepreneurial experience in which I can combine business knowledge, a focus on the optimal user experience, a clear understanding of technology and what's happening around us. I aspire to be a maker of the future, I want to be successful in what I do, and above all contribute some value to the world. By being able to participate in this master’s program I will be able to strengthen my capabilities to achieve this.
Thank you for considering me!