The Pursuits of Alice Jandrisits

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IDSA's Women in Design Section will host panel discussions at each of this year's district conferences. During each panel discussion, stories of individual careers will help demystify the process of designing and following a career path.

Alice Jandrisits, IDSA will join Tania Aldous, Pam Nyberg and Doris Wells-Papanek, IDSA on the St. Louis panel. We posed a question to Alice about the career paths she has pursued.

Do you feel that you have designed your career path or have other circumstances designed your career path?

A bit of both, I suppose. I’ve been blessed with experiencing incredible luck and timing with some of the career opportunities that I’ve had. Others, I have truly guided myself, set my sights upon, and made happen. I’ll share two examples:

Cooper Lighting: As a staff industrial designer, I was interested in gaining further business experience and in expanding my role, An unforeseen change in the organization led to my first management opportunity. It was a great learning environment for me and I had some wonderful mentors along the way.

Baxter Healthcare: I had been very interested in pursuing a Masters degree in order to gain more overall business knowledge. After exploring a variety of programs, I had requested that the company sponsor me for MPD--which Baxter did. This was a tremendous opportunity with no guarantee of a promotional outcome after completion. My Master of Product Development degree (from Northwestern) led to my promotion to Sr. Manager of Industrial Design. Overall, it was one of the best decisions that I have made for my career.