Victor Stivala, S/IDSA, a senior undergraduate student at Montclair State University, shares how he's honed his ID skills in school and as an intern.
Industrial design is a major like no other. Midway through my last college year, I think back to the start of this whole adventure. It began by unlearning everything I thought I knew about drawing and design. Dr. Denis Feigler was my first professor at Montclair. He started the first critique by telling half the class their work would never get the job. Our class spent many late nights and all-nighters together working on his projects; his class instilled a work ethic that I carry to this day. I’d never be where I am today without my professors or my classmates. By sophomore year, we were down to the dedicated nine of us. We became an inseparable family.
Sophomore year was all about the fundamentals. From digital sketching and Illustrator with Professor Lyden and Professor Lombardo to manufacturing, form language and Solidworks with Professor Panico and Dr. Feigler. These great professors helped me build my portfolio, of which I am profoundly proud. This portfolio has propelled me forward. It has already opened doors for me. The first door was Movado Group Inc. where I interned during the fall of 2019.
At Movado, I had the opportunity to work for the Hugo Boss/Ferrari ID Team. My internship in this fast-paced setting gave me invaluable experience; I was able to work on several watch designs for Hugo Boss and Ferrari. It was unlike anything I had done previously. Adobe Illustrator was the tool of choice in creating beautiful timepieces. This allowed us to create photorealistic renders in an afternoon.
Alongside this internship, Movado works with Montclair University on a design competition for the junior class. The top three MSU winners present to Movado’s CEO and VPs for a chance at an award scholarship. Watches were all I thought about during my junior year. I won 2nd place on my Tommy Hilfiger watch design.
Spring semester coincided with the COVID-19 crisis and lock down. As a junior, I had the opportunity to be part of the Ingersoll Rand Industry collaboration with MSU. Our project was the redesign of a pneumatic impact wrench. This project started off with a bang mid-January. I made dozens of foam mock-ups, narrowing in on my design. Due to the lockdown in March 2020, my project quickly switched to an online format. I was able to transform my home workspace in a short turnaround and created a hot wire cutter out of plywood so I could continue on my foam ideation. I’m really proud of how much I was able to accomplish that semester under those circumstances.
That summer, I had the incredible opportunity to intern at Siemens Healthineers as part of the NY Industrial Design team, which specializes in professional-facing medical device design. I took part in the re-design of a bench-top Immunoassay analyzer. This experience gave me the opportunity to generate unique concepts and hone my presentation skills on a weekly basis via remote video conferencing.
I’m prepared and eager to follow through with my final thesis in May 2021. I am excited about my last internship of my college career at Johnson & Johnson in medical device design, which begins in January. As my senior year is coming to an end, I am reminded of where all this began, who has helped me along the way and what is awaiting me in my future.