From we to “me”

Dixita Patel
4 min readMay 4, 2021

Self-assessment is the time when you deliberately think about yourself, paying attention to your own thoughts, emotions, decisions, and behaviors.

The time has come.

The first 7 months of my course — MA Service Design at UAL have been in teams and on teams (literally). In the past 7 months, I learned about working in a Multi-culture team, understanding team dynamics, and creating a balance between all the team members so that everyone is heard and considered. We divided work, collaborated over ideas, had some serious arguments, and learned from each other. I made sure I was a good team player and considered each other’s strengths and weaknesses as a team assessment.

But now, it is time to ride solo. For this unit — proposal development, I have finally got a chance to select a subject of my choice and deliver an outcome. Time to reflect and learn from the past mistakes and makes sure I do not make the same ones again but find new ones ( mean it, I learn better from my mistakes)

The first week of the unit started with self-assessment which is basically analyzing where I am right now, where I want to be in the future and how do I plan to reach there.

3 simple questions and the storming begins. The best or the worst part is that it's about me and there is absolutely no need to do a round of intensive research. However, it was a difficult yet eye-opening assignment. I realized that while working in a team, it was easy to point fingers at what is not working and try to overcome that but, to recognize your own strengths and areas of improvement. Well.. it took some thinking.

First-Introspect

I started with listing my strengths which are both personal and professional example — I am a Good listener (personal) and I am good with time management (professional). In my head, I divided my skills into 3 parts:

The known — something that I am aware and confident about like sketching

The known-unknown — something that I know a little about but still requires polishing like critical thinking

The unknown-unknown — in simple words they are the skills which I haven’t even thought about, but I might discover with time.

For now, I just focused on the first 2.

Second-Retrospect

We all came here with a vision and so did I. For me, my vision is a combination of all the experiences, inspirations, and learnings I have had so far. Yeah! plans change and so will mine but for now, with every project of every unit, I try to define my vision a bit more clearer. I try to add some pixels to a much-pixelated goal hoping to see an HD image soon. For this activity, when asked about the passion I did manage to write some and soon realized that I have too many so how do you choose one? Still trying to figure that.

Third-Plan

The last part of this exercise was to list down some networking opportunities and barriers. This was a tough spot because when the time comes you suddenly realize that you don’t know many people from this field. At least I felt that. Hence networking is the key — maybe I should use Linkedin more than stalking (not in a bad way)

Screenshot of the self-assessment activity for the entire class.

Why I learn from my classmate's self-assessment

It was interesting to read their passions and that’s when I realized I was studying with a bunch of “passionate designers”. Due to the pandemic, I did not get a chance to interact with all my classmates but after reading their board I could connect with a lot of them. One thing that came out loud and clear was that each and every one of us is a big “Opportunitist” and we grabbed this chance and chose to take the risk of studying in the middle of a pandemic as we endeavor problem-solving.

My learnings

When there is a safe space, just put your thoughts out there and see what people have to say about it. The transparency helped us actually connect better and a great opportunity to find out common interests and opportunities to work together — not forgetting to encourage, support, and motivate each other.

Until then a short reminder to whoever is reading this — Shine on you crazy diamond.

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