Monday we had a meeting regarding choosing a thesis project and paper for the upcoming year. Over the course of the next month, it was suggested we start talking to faculty to see where there is a synergy in interests.
Currently, I have no clear thoughts about what I will do for my thesis. I did meet with John Zimmerman a couple weeks ago to get his advice. He believes choosing a complementary project and paper is better than doing separate theses, and also suggested thinking about what job I would like and think about how my thesis can lend itself to marketing myself to future employers.
While that makes good sense, I still feel like I’m exploring the possibilities of interaction design and haven’t come to a solid idea of what I want to do. It seems that rather than a particular area of interest, my interest lies in the various design challenges, the wicked problems. I feel like I could be successful in various areas.
Perhaps that’s the plight of being a generalist.
The alternative to being strategic with the theses is to do whatever I fancy while I still can. This is the advice Richard Buchanan gives.
I’m not sure which view I feel more strongly about. I like the Buchanan’s idea of doing something that’s more for me and not about getting a job. But I also think doing something that will help me get ahead is smart, too.
Even without clear theses ideas, I already have a general idea of which faculty members I would like to work with: John Zimmerman, Shelley Evenson, Jodi Forlizzi, and Richard Buchanan. I guess looking at that list, one could infer which way I’m leaning, as John, Shelley, and Jodi are also of the pragmatic persuasion.
Still, I need to talk to them. And I will likely talk to others, while I start figuring out what it is will do in my second year of grad school.