Skip to main content
3 answers
Asked Viewed 362 times Translate

What would the best fit for an Industrial Designer + MBA be?

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

2
Pros
2
0

3 answers


Updated Translate

Rod’s Answer

Qualifications in your chosen areas do give you a wide choice and so I understand why you are thinking about where to focus. First thing is to remember: where you start will not necessarily be where you end up. I started designing chemical plants and ended up as a CEO of a marketing and communications group, via teaching and computer games development.

MBA graduates usually end up in large organisations: multi-nationals, government and consultancies. I think I benefited from starting my career in a large organisation as there were many opportunities to learn.

So what is the "best fit"? It is difficult to say without knowing more about you. However, as a start, I think it is worth asking yourself why you chose Industrial Design in the first place. Is it still your passion? What kind of design problem interests you? Do some research and see which sectors and companies will allow you to fulfil your passion. If you cannot identify anything then I think focus on the MBA makes sense.


2
Pros
1
0
Students
1
0
Updated Translate

Peter’s Answer

First, I think that it's great that you are interested in Industrial Design, as it is one of the fields where you can make an important impact and see the results. Having worked in a large company selling 3D Design software to industrial designers, I think there are at least a couple of opportunities. The combination gives you a solid foundation in industrial/manufacturing design as a practice, combined with understanding the operational and business context behind the design and manufacturing industry. You can take either a more entrepreneurial route by starting a design firm and using what you learned from your MBA to run and grow the business. Alternatively, you can work in product management or product marketing in a company that sells design software. For these types of roles, having background in Industrial Design is a big plus. In addition, you may want to consider getting an MBA with focus on Industrial Design.


Thank you for your advice, Peter I took an MBA with a focus on Disruptive Innovation and it gave me a deeper understanding of the startup environment and tech industry. Although I want to start my design/innovation firm in the future, I would like to continue building my career and getting more experienced. I recently started looking for opportunities in the Product Management field for tech startups. I have a clear view of how my knowledge and experience could translate to value, yet I've found it hard to translate my work experiences into Product Management. I'm currently reading Product School's -The Product Book- to get more familiar with the role and responsibilities of a Product Manager, do you have any recommendations for books, forums, or podcasts in this field? Oscar A.
2
Pros
1
0
Students
1
0
Updated Translate

Matt’s Answer

Hi Oscar -

It's great to hear you have degrees in both. Both John and Peter gave some good points to consider. I want to add one thing. There is an increasing trend for design schools to offer business programs and vice versa. Have you talked to anyone from IDEO in Boston? Have you checked out design thinking? Many companies are looking for people have design and business skills, even big consulting firm like McKinsey and BCG that are looking for people who have design and MBA. I have an industrial design background and worked in the design field for over 20 years. I don't design products any more. I am working on innovation, strategy, and enterprise transformation. What's constant? I am using my design skills and approach to solve problems.

Good luck!
Thank you for your advice, Matt. I have considered IDEO and will try to reach out to their teams in Boston and San Francisco, as you mentioned I've had Design Thinking courses in both design and business schools, I want to continue building my career towards Design Thinking, Innovation, and strategy and I would love to learn more about your career path. What do you think is the best way to connect with people working in Innovation agencies like IDEO, frog, fjord, etc.? Oscar A.
Hi Oscar, you can attend local events hosted by IDSA. Also DMI (design management institute) is based in Boston. They organize many events for design professional. You can get discount as a student. Depending on where you at (I don't know where I got an impression that you are in Boston. if not, my bad), finding local design events are the best way to get your foot into the community. You can also checkout the Service Design Network. That is a global network. I would say, they are more into design thinking than the more traditional design organization like IDSA. Another way to search people on LinkedIn and see who are from those firms willing to be a mentor. Good luck! Matt Huang
I was living in Boston last year, then moved to San Francisco and now moved back to Mexico City where I am originally from due to COVID. Thank you for your great advice, I will look for opportunities to connect on Linkedin with people in both Boston and SF and will also keep an eye on IDSA and Service Design Network. Oscar A.
0