经历|交互向研究生申请复盘

希望这点申请信息可以帮到你~以下是我这一轮申请的所有学校和结果,按照申请时想去程度排列

UW – MHCID – RJ

SVA – POD – AD

NorthWestern – EDI – WL

CCA – Interaction Design – AD

Berkeley – Master of Design – RJ

CMU – MIIPS – AD $5000*3 

Cornell – MPS – AD

NYU – IDM – AD $6000*4

GT – HCI – RJ

Pratt – interaction design – WL

SJSU – HFE – AD

 选校思路 

  1. 地理位置纽约加州为上
  2. 有暑假可以实习
  3. 校友网络强(通常意味着项目人少)
  4. 因为本科已经学了HCI所以希望接触到其他设计领域,这点我文书中重点写了,反思下来也是HCI项目录的不好的原因
  5. 实在不太想读公立学校了

Tip:不少项目都有Ins,选校的时候可以看一下Story,记录的都是学生的日常

 最终决定  – CMU MIIPS

满足了第2345条标准,并且还有学费减免。重点就是学费减免实在令我无法抗拒,所以只能等我实现了选校自由再和SVA续前缘。

 面试 – CCA NW SVA NYU

面试简而言之就是和教授或Dean愉快的聊天半小时。我聊得比较多的是自己对设计的见解,以及设计可以解决的一些社会问题。要让他们隔着屏幕感受到你的热情和动机,放心大胆的开玩笑讲故事!CCA和SVA的面试都是我和面试官各bb一半,有时甚至有插不上话的感觉,遇到这种情况应该是比较稳了,毕竟要不然他们不会愿意花费口舌。NYU是两个教授一起上,有点像面试工作。只有Northwestern牵涉到present作品集(完全颠覆了前面的pattern我就翻车了)。

 预录 Video Essay  – CCA NYU

急匆匆用Mac摄像头在白墙前录的,没有特别的创意。Youtube上有很多可以参考的栗子🌰

 无准备 Video Essay  – Cornell CMU

提交网申材料的最后一步,随机出题,有点像托福口语的感觉。当时录完我觉得gg了,结果还好。

 GRE 

书买了一年半,复习可能只复习了两个月。。。但是绝大部分学校不要求,所以有死读书的时间不如多打磨一下文书和作品集。主页回复【GRE】我再告诉你考了多少。

 Portfolio 

和找工作用的是同一个作品集。作为UX设计背景申请者,放了三个UX项目,一个Service Design,一个Usability Test,一个Physical Product + Business,和其他一些非常基础的画和平面设计之类。一般学校只要求三个项目,但是我的真爱SVA要求7+个,所以都是因为爱情才会这么拼命。

 文书 

初稿写完后请有申请经验的老师看过一次。一共写过三个项目经历,配了不同的开头结尾和转折。大改完成后就进入了拖延模式,截止前根据项目不同像拼乐高一样拼文章。语法是Grammarly改的,参考的资料有书和例文,这些之前都写过了。

MIIPS是要求回答问题而不是写一篇完整的SOP,我基本上用到了我写的所有素材,希望帮到需要的人~

This is the essay I submitted to CMU MIIPS. I submitted similar versions to other programs.

Other than reputation, what most interests you about attending this graduate program in the College of Engineering at CMU?

My goal for this program is clear. I want to gain depth in interaction design and develop breadth in neighboring fields. MIIPS is my top choice because the set up of this program aligns perfectly with my aspirations.

I became a UX designer after graduating from college. One day, I was going through the research data for an app design project I was tasked with. While analyzing the problems that the client faces, I asked myself, “What if an app is NOT the best solution?” The fresh doubt to me is the taste of the forbidden fruit. I couldn’t bear the thought that I was not delivering the most effective solution. Set out to solve human problems, I was bound by the title as a UX designer. It’s time to become more.

Learning that meaningful solutions are always human-centered, and often integrative, I am embracing possibilities. I choose MIIPS because of the strong foundation in human-centered design theories and impressive spectrum in design, spanning from product to strategy. The business and engineering aspect is also essential for me to learn the entire process, in order to become a more well-rounded designer. I will grasp the opportunity to learn the skills that will empower me to provide coherent interdisciplinary solutions.

The most unique aspect of this program that attracts me is the master’s essay. This is the only program where I can explore a topic in-depth in the form of literature. I would like to understand how can we make collaboration more altruistic. I’ve encountered situations where people want to “save” the ideas for themselves, which is often counter-productive. I hope I can learn more about the nature of our collaboration during the summer internship and discuss this more in the essay.

Last but not least, the industry perspective brought to the program by sponsors and alumni is critical. As I plan to advance my career through this program, I really value the networking opportunities and even job opportunities. With deep roots in integrated innovation, CMU makes an exceptional learning environment.

300 words remaining

What are your goals after you complete your degree, and how will our graduate program help you achieve your immediate and longer-term future career objectives?

After graduation, I would love to take part in a top creative consultancy tackling problems with a hybrid approach. In the long term, I hope this program will prepare me for that job description that doesn’t exist yet. Hopefully, I will be working with emerging technologies, but it’s hard to get any more specific. When the time comes, we’ll connect the dots backwards.

300 words remaining

Describe how your work, research, educational or other life experiences have prepared you for graduate study in this program.

My academic background has prepared me exceptionally well for this program. Graduating from a Cognitive Science degree, I know by heart the neuroscience that wires our senses, memory, attention, and the psychology of how we perceive the world, both being basic building blocks of user experience. I have internalized essential theories from the Gestalt Principle that helps us make sense of information visualization. Furthermore, conducting ethnographic research has prepared me for doing in-depth user research, to discover surface and examine unarticulated assumptions and root causes. I had the opportunity to interpret interview data by analyzing cultural models, as well as to do field research to learn about how our environment and embodiment affect the way we think, feel, and perform.

Approaching the final year of college, I put my theoretical knowledge to work. Some exciting work include creating a website for the local veteran-founded organic brewery, volunteering for an educational startup that provides STEAM education in India, and building a holographic exhibit for Birch Aquarium for under 200 dollars. Seeing my design in action is exhilarating, but more importantly, I remained in contact with all the teams and clients I have worked with. Because of the human connection involved, I am firmly convinced that design is “the one” for me.

Upon graduation, I worked at an internship and a few freelance projects as a UX designer. I gained valuable experience by leading a team of 8 designers, consulting for a ride-share company. A lot of self-learning on product management and workshop facilitation later, I led the team to overcome the difficulty of coordinating members in 3 time zones spanning 12 hours, and still managed to keep ideas flowing by using both synchronous and asynchronous ideation methods. I reminded teammates to delay criticism, ensured each decision-making process is collaborative, and most importantly, implemented the “no prototype, no meeting” rule. I am very confident that the communication and collaboration skills that I gained will continue to benefit me in the program.

I offer you a human-centered thinker and a dedicated team member. I will take my education from III and train my head, heart, and hands.

300 words remaining

What sets you apart from other applicants? eg. Have you done significant community service? Have you published peer-reviewed research? Have you received significant awards?

Outside of school and work, giving back to the community is a big part of my life. I have volunteered for an NGO that promotes equality of education in underdeveloped areas in China for four years. And the empathy I built with the people I served helped me become a better designer.

In a volunteer project, my team’s goal is to promote a healthy diet for kids in National City, where fast food is five times more accessible there than in other areas. Overwhelmed by the volume of possible directions that this project can take after a brainstorm, I insisted on asking, “Which works better?” and “Why?” The temptation to build a digital product was evident. But asking those questions forced conversations about children. Drawing on my experience of volunteering as a teacher in rural China, the public schools were equipped with computers and projectors but most were coated with dust. Technology doesn’t create intent, it only amplifies it. The kids in National City lacked the motivation to eat healthily. And using technology would not create that. We ended up designing a gardening curriculum, which was implemented by an NGO.

One of the biggest problems in the design world today is the unevenly distributed resoure of design thinking. How to get talented designers to design for underprivileged communities where they are needed the most? I don’t have an answer yet, but I will keep using my design skills to empower the disadvantaged.

Besides that, I volunteer for the alumni association of my high school, organizing events in three different continents, and maintaining regional online communities. Service keeps me humble and grateful. It has also shown me the power of a robust community. I look forward to being a part of the III community as well.

250 words remaining

You may include any additional information for the admissions committee that is relevant to your application but not provided elsewhere either in the text box or the upload option below. There is no guarantee this information will be included in the admissions committee review. (Optional)

My academic background has prepared me exceptionally well for this program. Graduating from a Cognitive Science degree, I know by heart the neuroscience that wires our senses, memory, attention, and the psychology of how we perceive the world, both being basic building blocks of user experience. I have internalized essential theories from the Gestalt Principle that helps us make sense of information visualization. Furthermore, conducting ethnographic research has prepared me for doing in-depth user research, to discover surface and examine unarticulated assumptions and root causes. I had the opportunity to interpret interview data by analyzing cultural models, as well as to do field research to learn about how our environment and embodiment affect the way we think, feel, and perform.

Upon graduation, I worked at an internship and a few freelance projects as a UX designer. I gained valuable experience by leading a team of 8 designers, consulting for a ride-share company. A lot of self-learning on product management and workshop facilitation later, I led the team to overcome the difficulty of coordinating members in 3 time zones spanning 12 hours, and still managed to keep ideas flowing by using both synchronous and asynchronous ideation methods. I reminded teammates to delay criticism, ensured each decision-making process is collaborative, and most importantly, implemented the “no prototype, no meeting” rule. I am very confident that the communication and collaboration skills that I gained will continue to benefit me in the program.

I offer you a human-centered thinker and a dedicated team member.

Giving back to the community is a big part of my life. I have volunteered for an NGO that promotes equality of education in underdeveloped areas in China for four years. And the new perspectives that come with it helped me become a better designer.

In another volunteer project, my team’s goal is to promote a healthy diet for kids in National City, where fast food is five times more accessible there than in other areas. Overwhelmed by the volume of possible directions that this project can take after a brainstorm, my experience as a volunteer teacher in rural China helped us narrow down options. Those public schools were equipped with computers but most were coated with dust. Technology doesn’t create intent, it only amplifies it. The kids in National City lacked the motivation to eat healthily. And using technology would not create that. We ended up designing a gardening curriculum, which was implemented by an NGO.

One of the biggest problems in the design world today is the unevenly distributed resource of design thinking. I will keep using my design skills to empower the disadvantaged.

Besides that, I volunteer for the alumni association of my high school, organizing events in three different continents, and maintaining regional online communities. Service keeps me humble and grateful. It has also shown me the power of a robust community. I look forward to being a part of the III community as well.