Meet Robert Snell, a student at the innovative Western Michigan University Product Design Program who is graduating this spring and looking for an employment opportunity in southwest Michigan. Robert is passionate about designing “for good” and loves to work with passionate people whose lives can be impacted by his work. A team player who loves to brainstorm and understand others’ visions, Robert’s dream industry for design would be in the outdoors or athletics industry, but he is happy to design in any industry that is filled with passionate people. Learn more about Robert below and consider why he could be a great fit for your team!
What is the best lesson you learned from your classes, an internship, an instructor, or a mentor?
The best lesson I’ve learned from the Richmond Institute for Design and Innovation (RIDI) is how to design for good. I’ve learned how design can help change the world but also how it can contribute to issues like waste and consumerism. RIDI has taught me how to be conscious of the impact designs can have and to use what I’ve learned to positively affect change for society and the environment.
What is the strongest skill you bring to an employer?
My strongest skill that I bring to employers is my personality. I am a great team player and never want to stop learning. I can be a leader and can also follow the direction of others. I am great at understanding other people’s visions and love to brainstorm. I bring a unique point of view and I work extremely well with other creative minds.
What type of project or industry interests you?
If I had to pick an industry that interests me, it would be outdoors or athletics, but truly I feel happy designing in any industry, as long it is filled with passionate people. One of the best parts of design for me is working with the people whose lives revolve around what you’re designing for and seeing the amazing impact your design can make on something they love. It’s exciting to learn from those passionate people. I end up getting sucked into that world and learn to love it myself! It’s hard not to when you’re doing research, talking to people, and diving into designs.
What project in your portfolio are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my Cocoon project that I did as a sponsored project with Eaton. I conceptualized an innovative way to ship and display produce in order to cut down on the insane amounts of waste the current system produces. This was a time where I was able to use everything I’ve learned in my time at RIDI to identify a real issue in the world and come up with a solution that would result in positive societal and environmental change. It was very rewarding working on such a big issue as food waste and I am very happy with the concept I came up with.
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?
Being a part of the art school at Western has been the highlight of my experience in this community. It has led me to being a part of so many great things like artist talks, Art Hop, and gallery shows. The community of creatives around Kalamazoo is really what made this place a home for me.