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Open to Opportunity: Meet Danialle Baumgardner

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Danialle Baumgardner, graduating from the Western Michigan University (WMU) Product Design program, is hoping to find an employment opportunity in the community. Danialle is particularly interested in Color, Materials, Finish (CMF) design in the automotive industry, but doesn’t want to limit herself to a single industry. “I like to think being a contextual and futuristic thinker is what makes me unique. I enjoy knowing where things have been and what direction they are heading or what the future possibilities are,” she said. Read Danialle’s full feature below to see how she could be a great addition to your team.

What is the best lesson you learned from your classes, an internship, instructor, or mentor?

It’s cliché, but “trust the process.” The phrase has spoken to me in a magnitude of ways the last few years. Some days the phrase simply meant trust the creative process, but other days it has been much more than that. It has been a phrase for getting through quarantine—especially the months and weeks that there felt like little hope. It also has been there for me while grieving great losses and days that nothing seems to be going my way. It is a continuous reminder of patience.

What is the strongest skill you bring to an employer?

I like to think being a contextual and futuristic thinker is what makes me unique. I enjoy knowing where things have been and what direction they are heading or what the future possibilities are. Looking forward and back really creates a whole story to inspire from.

What type of project or industry interests you?

CMF design in automotive is where most of my interests currently sit. I don’t ever want to limit myself to a single industry and would love to work within fashion one day.

What project in your portfolio are you most proud of?

I love how my internship project Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (now known as Stellantis) turned out. I was able to work with an amazing interior design intern who designed a beautiful interior for a RAM concept truck. I was lucky enough to collaborate with his work to render out incredible color and material options.

What/who is one person, place, or experience that had a positive impact on you during your time at Western Michigan University or in the Kalamazoo community?

In the spring of 2019, I met Vivian Evans who is an amazing CMF designer. She presented during the design seminar about CMF design and then worked in class with us. She opened my eyes to a different segment of industrial design. I remember thinking the entire time she worked with us that I wanted to be her when I grew up. I think my friends noticed that day changed my perspective forever.

Danialle’s Contact Information

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