Name: Anna Adriani Soetarso
Major & Year: Design & Management, ’12
Hi Anna! Thanks for letting me ask you some questions. To start, where are you from and how did you hear about Parsons?
I’m from Jakarta, Indonesia, a vibrant city just like New York City. I heard about the school through a friend of mine who was also majoring in Design & Management.
Why did you choose to major in Design & Management?
I always had a creative side but I didn’t want to do just pure design such as Fine Arts, Fashion Design or Communication Design. (I also knew that my drawings are not as good as the rest of talented students at Parsons). I was also interested in business since I took an International Baccalaureate program back in high school. So I thought, what better program suits both of my interests?
Any favorite classes so far? Tell me about them.
Design & Development and Managing Creative Projects. These two were taught by my favorite teacher, Jeffrey Riman.
Design & Development (now called Research & Development Advanced Methods) builds upon material covered in the introductory Research and Development Methods course, offering students an opportunity to experiment with the development of advanced approaches to the integration of research and design methodology. In class, we were given a topic to focus on: “Healing & Learning” this individual project was a semester long, I got inspired by my mother who is a General Practitioner specializing in HIV/AIDS back in Indonesia. I decided to do a project on what I called SMILE (Safe Mind In a Loving Environment) a safe, holistic environment for patients to share their stories with others who are experiencing the same thing as them. This project then entails healing and learning from one another’s case stories about their illnesses. I was also fortunate to have Jeffrey as a professor, he was very genuine and cared a lot about his students’ work.
[The second course taught by Riman is] Managing Creative Projects, which concentrated on group projects. We learned how a creative business typically runs and we continued to use our ethnographic skills.
Fashion Media [is another] one of my favorite classes because I got to create and design my very own magazines! Ever since High School, I always liked taking pictures of my model friends and editing pictures in my free time. This class gave me an amazing opportunity to interview and photograph my all-time role model! (You can view the story “The Traveler” on my website, under Fashion Editorials).
What was your first year at Parsons like? Was it your first time in NYC?
I will never forget my first day at Parsons, as all Parsons students know about the infamous elevator that takes forever every morning. My first class was called Design 1 and it was on the 12th floor, I didn’t want to be late so I walked 12 floors up. Definitely something worth remembering. My first year was all about adjusting to the city life, friends and juggling school at the same time. Going to school in a city like New York is very different from any other college campus. The campuses are located in the heart of NYC and you have to know your way around.
So true about the elevator! Since then, have you completed any internships? What sort of plans do you have for this summer?
Yes, I have had several internships, starting my Sophomore Year. I did DKNY both semesters at different departments, 1) Visual Merchandising intern at their Madison Store and 2) Public Relations intern at their corporate office. Last summer I had 2 internships with a freelance stylist, Keegan Singh (I get to work along known models such as Chanel Iman, Jessica Stam, Heidi Mount). My other internship was at StyleCaster as their Graphic Design Junior Team Member. My responsibility included creating the typography for the editorial cover and credits. It was a huge responsibility as my work gets published from time to time. One of my biggest editorial stories, is the one with Kate Bosworth as the cover. I would work alongside the Creative Director and the Fashion Editor to help make the graphics every time they post a story.
My biggest accomplishment yet, is interning at CHANEL since last February as their Creative Services intern. I have learned and gained so many experiences since the day I started interning. CHANEL’S Creative Services is an in-house agency that includes the Vice President of Print & Web, the Art Director & Designers, the Copy Director & Copy Writers, the Production Team and the Advertising Team. What they do is design the campaigns, fashion invites, brochures, educational tools for beauty analysts at various department stores. I am the only intern there, and I work directly under the Production Coordinator who is responsible for managing the different projects (whether it is print or web) between the designers and going to production. What I like about this internship, is that I am involved during the process. I attend the Creative meetings as well. Once a week I update the status report and see which projects are ongoing, due or done. The key elements of this internship are: operations, design & organization. (You can view more of what I do on my website under Internship & CHANEL)
It sounds like you have a busy (but exciting!) summer ahead of you! Have there been times when you were able to take what you learned at Parsons and have been able to apply it towards you internship experiences?
Definitely! Being able to meet deadlines, work under pressure, respecting and valuing coworker’s ideas and multitasking. (They’re great traits to have!)
Agreed! What do you hope to do with your major? Any future plans once you graduate?
I hope that I will eventually work for CHANEL or any design consultancies. My dream job would be working as a Creative Director at a design firm. I will be graduating next semester and since I am an International Student, my next game plan is to apply for my Optional Practical Training (OPT) after I graduate, stay in New York City and continue to live my dream.
Sounds like a great plan! Finally, any last minute advice for students out there who hope to follow in your footsteps?
Sounds cliché, but my life motto is work hard, play hard. Living in New York City has its advantages and disadvantages. I learned and grew up faster as an adult living here [because of] all the responsibilities I had compared to other students in a college campus [setting]. You will learn to be a very impressive juggler by the time you graduate, with your school, career and social life. I always say this to my friends, as a student in NYC, we have so many things to do…and be grateful that you get to live in the concrete jungle where dreams are made.
Thanks so much Anna for taking the time to chat with us!
(Click to visit Anna’s website to see more of her classwork.)
– Written by Lauren Sanchez, Design and Management BBA ’12