"People in art school are all great at sketching. I was able to learn more about the business side and human factors of industrial design—things that only a university can offer."
Even though conservatories can produce great artists, Judy J. Lee was interested in a more well-rounded education. At Illinois, Judy not only developed her technical skills but also studied art as a business and gained hands-on design experience abroad.
During her senior year, she participated in a graduate-level course on designing products for developing countries. Class discussions on sustainability and living conditions culminated in a winter research trip to India. After spending time in urban and rural areas and interviewing locals, Judy translated her knowledge into a design for the innoCart, a prototype for a more efficient cart system for Indian street vendors.
After graduation, Judy began working for Graco Children's Products. Though she initially worked on several product categories, including strollers, swings, and baby monitors, Judy now trains designers and is focusing on new product development.
"I really like working for a big company because you can see your products in the market," Judy notes. "It is so rewarding to see people actually using my products."