My MBA Word Map. And some ‘Design’ Thoughts.

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As I research further and further into my future career aspirations and possibilities, I’ve realised how important the element of ‘design’ is to me. As a teenager, I attended a visual arts conservatory: I spent hours animating by hand, arguing over fonts, and painting oil landscapes. More than merely a hobby, art has impacted the way I understand the world. I’m a visual and tactile person who still needs to draw diagrams, flowcharts, and word maps to process complex concepts. As above, I still spend endless hours in coffee shops, allowing the caffeine to flow through my pen to form arrows, circles, and spider webs. As Han Hoffman says, “Design is the intermediary between information and understanding.”

Through my MBA research, I’ve  discovered design consulting firms that advocate ‘Design Thinking’ around innovation and business – that perfectly aligns with my creative soul:

  1. IDEO 
  2. DOBLIN 
  3. FROG DESIGN

From Doblin, I love their  Ten Types of Innovation framework – which provide a way to identify new opportunities beyond products and develop viable innovations.

Creative Confidence by IDEO founder and Stanford d.school creator David Kelley and his brother Tom Kelley is DEFINELY being added to my ‘need to read’ bookshelf!

 

Please allow me to introduce myself…

 

I like the colour red – not excessively, but more than other colours – and it shows. It’s on my CV, cover letter, website (www.villyfriends.com), blog and iPhone cover. You will most likely spot me, sitting at a coffee shop, with my dark red blazer and my bright red handbag. My friends have nicknamed it “the power bag”: the source of my “awesome” organisational and communications skills. I simply open the zipper and pull out my laptop, confidence, and skillset because seemingly, I am as strong as the cherry tomato red. Plus, it appears that the colour has no boundary or language barrier. Whether I’m studying in London or Paris or working in California or Bulgaria, the colour comes to my rescue as I reach for my favourite burgundy lipstick. It speaks my confidence and personality even before I utter a word. Everyone has a personal brand that is on display – from the confidence in their shoulders to the colour of their shoes. But I always wonder, whether others are like me, always conscious of their personal statement. Whether they read Dale Carnegie’s book on how to influence people. Or whether they watch documentaries on Christian Louboutin’s use of red for design consistency and psychological persuasion. You see, it’s not a coincidence that others view me as ‘artistic’ and ‘professional’ – it’s the cherry-coloured power bag that took me forty-two days to find. Through visual consistency, my personal taste was able to harness the power of a colour to create an association with my name – Violeta Todorova. I am courageous, I am passionate, I am internationally recognized – I am the colour red. 

Bring the story of your life to LIFE.

Bring the story of your life to LIFE.

I approached the Parisian coffee shop to find Violeta sitting at a small circular table, already waiting for me. She had a burgundy blazer (that matched her lipstick shade) and a bright red handbag. The cherry tomato colour of the bag exuded a confidence that was confirmed by the big smile that recognized me. She quickly put down her black leather book and gave me a firm handshake. After placing our orders in French, I inquired about Violeta’s life. She giggled for a second, only to respond, “It’s kind of a long story. I can’t even answer the question, ‘Where are you from?’” She proceeded to tell me about her childhood in Bulgaria, her high school in California, and her time in London. “I like to travel… a lot!” She continued, “But more than merely tourist visits. I like to assimilate into the culture. For example, finding a local coffee shop…a hidden gem just around the corner from a big boulevard.” With that, she made a slightly head gesture to Rue Mouffetard as our barista arrived with two black coffees. Immediately, she shook her head no to the offer of sugar and crème; she insisted, “I like my coffee bold.” Violeta paused, readjusted her thin black glasses and continued, “Where were we?” And with that question, a slight British inclination crept in to an otherwise strong American accent. We then went on to discuss random themes from her sister’s turtle to Tina Fey’s autobiography to society’s latest obsession with Pinterest. Jumping from knowledge in one subject to another, I couldn’t figure out Violeta’s degree. “Film Studies” she responded, “the academic study of cinema and the ability to talk to anybody! After all, who doesn’t have a favourite actor?” Before paying the bill, I asked about the black leather book on the table. She lifted her hand off the cover as if let me peek inside. Then, Violeta leaned in slightly, lowered her voice, and whispered, “It’s my sketchbook… filled with drawing, typography designs, business ideas, and storyboards for short films. I would show you, but I only just met you.”