Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A Day in the Life - Part 3

Part 3 of our Day in the Life series features MSI Student Jessamine Bartley-Matthews
(Copied with permission from Facebook)


Hi everyone! My name is Jessa and I’m a first-year master’s student specializing in HCI (soon-to-be tailored). I’m interested in the intersection between art and UX design, and how we can use technology to create physical experiences that positively impact people’s lives. Before coming to‪#‎UMSI‬, I worked in communications at a human rights nonprofit in Washington, DC; before that, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua. I majored in English and art history during college, so I’m happy to answer any questions you have about entering UMSI with a non-tech background.

At UMSI, I’m the vice president of the School of Information Master’s Association (SIMA), as well as an active participant in design jams and campus activities. I'm also a UX Design Fellow at UofM's Digital Innovation Greenhouse, part of the Office of Digital Education and Innovation. There is truly something for everyone here; the hardest part is finding enough time in the day to squeeze it all in! I’ll be posting throughout the day with little glimpses into my typical Thursday, feel free to comment with any questions you have!

Post 1/5: Starting my morning off right catching up on emails from home with a cup of coffee in hand. Thursday mornings are my chance to catch up on email and anything else that has built up over the course of the week, and today I’ll be finalizing my graphic design homework and seeing if I can sneak in a few internship applications before heading off to class.

I live on Ann Arbor’s Old West Side, about a 25-minute walk or 10-minute bike ride from UMSI (more on biking later!). It's residential part of town, and you’ll find a nice mix of families and graduate students living here. All buses in Ann Arbor are free with your student ID, so when it’s rainy or I’m just feeling sluggish, I can walk down the block and hop on the bus to get to class. On days that I manage to get out the door early enough, I grab a half-price pastry and a locally-roasted coffee from the farm stand down the street smile emoticon. Happy to answer any questions you have about neighborhoods or the housing search. Ok, back to work!

Post 2/5: Made my way to the Fishbowl to print out my homework before heading to my Graphic Design class (SI520). The Fishbowl is located right by the Diag in Angell Hall and has a ton of Macs and PCs that you can work on and use the Adobe Creative Suite if you don't have it on your personal computer. Though the majority of SI classes take place at our beautiful North Quad, we also have access to amazing facilities all over campus that suit your different needs and interests. Now off to class!

Post 3/5: Onto North Quad for the weekly School of Information Master's Association (SIMA) meeting. SIMA serves as the liaison to the school administration, sponsors social events, hosts guest speakers, and appoints student leaders to various UMSI committees. SIMA is just one of the many student organizations on campus that you can participate in when you arrive. There really is something for everyone smile emoticon

Right now we're busy planning the School of Information Prom and gearing up for visiting days. We're excited to meet all of you!

Post 4/5: Last stop of the day before heading home: the Ann Arbor Potter's Guild! I signed up for a beginner's class last semester as a wintertime de-stresser, and have been honing my throwing skills and just generally enjoying doing something more physical. It's a nice contrast to the computer screen smile emoticon. There is always a lot to do in Ann Arbor outside of school, and lots of interesting ways to get involved in the community. Wish me luck glazing my newly-fired pots!

Post 5/5: After a long day of classes, internship applications, meetings, and ceramics, I'm headed home to do a bit of homework and plan out my day tomorrow (Friday!!!) When the temperature permits, I ride my bike everywhere. Ann Arbor is a very bike friendly city with a number of clearly-marked bike lanes (and, admittedly, some potholes), and many people use it as their primary mode of transportation. When the weather is warm, you can bike along the Huron River to The Dexter Cider Mill for homemade donuts and hot cider, or you can head in the opposite direction and take a ride around the Arboretum. Just don't forget to get bright bicycle lights and a good helmet!

I hope these little glimpses into my day have been helpful! I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about life in Ann Arbor or UMSI classes; just leave a comment below. Hope to see you at visiting days!

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Day in the Life - Part 2

Part two of our Day in the Life series follows Saskia DeVries, a dual UMSI and Ford School of Public Policy student, during one of her days in Washington DC on UMSI's alternative spring break (ASB).
(posts copied directly from Facebook, with permission of course!)

Hello everyone! My name is Saskia. I'm a first-year MSI student and a dual degree student with the Ford School of Public Policy. At UMSI my specialization is Information Economics for Management. Broadly, I'm interested user-centered design for government programs (the implementation side of public policy) with a focus on low-income communities. This week I'm in Washington, DC, for Alternative Spring Break (ASB)! I'll be posting throughout the day about my work here. Please feel free to ask questions about UMSI, ASB, being a dual-degree student, or anything else!

Post 1/4 for Day in the Life: Starting my day at the New America Foundation with a cup of coffee in front of the UMSI team's work on the whiteboard! I'm one of four students volunteering with Opportunity@Work on their TechHire initiative. We're helping out with the design of a knowledge management system. ASB is just one of many ways UMSI connects students with projects for real clients!

 Post 2/4 for Day in the Life: We had a very exciting morning in DC! Our project host arranged a tour of the White House! First we watched President Obama board Marine One, and then we walked around the rooms in the East Wing. Not all ASB teams go on tours like this, but everyone on the trip has time to view the sights in DC: monuments, museums, galleries, and more.

Post 3/4 for Day in the Life: The business day is ending, but Nishan Bose and I are still hard at work! Tomorrow is our last day with Opportunity@Work, and we want to leave them with the materials they need to move forward with the projects we started. We just received great feedback from our project sponsor!

Post 4/4 for Day in the Life: Time to meet up with friends in DC for dinner! Thanks for reading today. Please reach out if you have any questions!