Inside ROBRADY: An Interview with Jaryn Miller
What have you discovered about yourself in the transition from school to the professional world?
Personally, I have learned a lot about myself over the past two years. I think the most important thing I have learned is that the only person I can hold responsible for my success or lack thereof, is myself. Of course, there are circumstances that may be out of your control, but it’s up to you to recognize them and plan or adapt.
Professionally, I'm finding out what type of future I want. College touches on every aspect of product development from research to production. Learning so much in such a fast paced environment, I didn't have much time to figure out what aspect I liked best. After graduating, I went over all of my projects and evaluated myself to see the areas I excel in and to really narrow my focus. My skill set and interest all pointed to Design Strategy. I quickly learned that my inherent talent for thinking of good ideas is practically useless in the job market. It's my ability to communicate, justify and execute those ideas that makes a difference. I think that's something that everyone learns at some point - it’s not having the skill but being able to show that you have it that matters most.
“I got the pleasure to interact with Jaryn during my time as an ID professor at the Savannah College of Art. Jaryn was a responsible and self-driven student. I notice that he always gave extra effort to deliver great work and to improve in the areas where he wasn’t that good. As a team player Jaryn thrived for his leadership skills and attention to detail. I’m happy to see that Jaryn is part of the ROBRADY group because he will have the opportunity to demonstrate and develop his skills as a designer and as a leader.”
~Jose Gamboa, Professor, Savannah College of Art and Design
How do you apply that now?
By targeting ways to build and show my talents. Figuring out what I wanted to do was a great first step. The next step is learning as much as I can about it. That means I read...A LOT. Audio books have become a big tool for me (as my co-workers can attest). They allow me to learn while I'm sanding parts, driving, etc. I try and switch up the topics, but I generally focus on things like Business Strategy, Ethnography, Social Innovation, etc. I also run the blog Impact Through Innovation which helps me stay on top of the latest in design, technology, and business.
Working at ROBRADY offers me the other side of the coin - hands on experience. I have the chance to apply what I learn as well as learn from those around me. It's great to see how a successful company operates and how each department interacts and solves problems. Working here has been a lot of fun so far and has taught me a lot.
What does your dream opportunity look like?
My dream role is as a strategist helping to develop new products. This role allows me to utilize all of my strengths; insight translation, empathy, research and creative problem solving. In such a little-known field as Industrial Design, it's common to hear that someone didn't know what they wanted to do until they found Industrial Design. I'm lucky in that I had that experience all over again when I found Design Strategy. One of the joys I had after graduating was watching everyone go off and finding their own individual roles as well as finding my own.
Who is a designer that has influenced you and why?
Hilary Cottam - she is great at applying Design Thinking to social issues. Design Thinking is really just a zing word for a process of solving abstract problems. By applying it to more complex issues it can give us a different perspective on them, hopefully leading to more effective solutions.
What is your favorite band?
J. Cole - I really relate to him, partly because we were in college at the same time so we had similar experiences. Now that he is out and established, he talks about his struggle to stay true to his goal of having an impact on people while also filling his desire for commercial success. That's something I think a lot of people, including designers, can identify with.
Fun Fact: I've lived in 4 different states and two countries.