Design has always interested me as a sphere of human creativity about which I lacked knowledge, regardless of the fact that it has attracted me with some invisible power. Undoubtedly, this field possesses some unspeakable magic of making wonders by inspiring people through self-explanatory persuasion of apt and succinct details. Previously, I believed that design in international management is some inborn skill of a person who is very gifted since they possess a unique creative spirit and imagination in order to be able to create an unforgettable and unrepeatable event. All in all, the subject of this course interested me much and for long. Consequently, I decided that it is hopeless to play a guessing game with my mind, and I need to do this course to cognise the underpinning of this subject in-depth and become an integral part of design and creativity craftsmanship. Hence, I immersed myself in this area to gain design skills and knowledge as an important part of my career based on enhanced ability to think critically and creatively, develop non-standard solutions, and innovative vision of events among other aspects.
Although neither module content nor its constituents were known for me initially, the first acquaintance with the course became a pleasant surprise. Apparently, the fact that I became part of a team and was presented with a set of different tasks and assignments to be completed during the class enticed me to think that an exciting challenge was awaiting me. I was right and my strategic thinking and intuition supported my inner quest for new experiences. What surprised me most from the start was a fast-pace and great-level scope of independence with which the tutor provided us while choosing the focus to direct our creativity on a target idea that interests us as ordinary individuals. Therefore, we were initially concentrated on the topic, which was a potential discovery, thinking over which would have provided a specific value-adding opportunity for each of group members.
For unknown reason, the whole group mutually decided to pay our attention to researching the topic of skin and lung cancer as a significant health care problem that concerns everyone. I could not even remember who of us proposed to raise this debate, but the discussion in terms of its components and vital factors to consider throughout the course was lively and indeed concerned everyone. Although we are young, bad habits as one of the key risk factors for the identified types of cancer are relevant for any of us. Therefore, strategic vision of coverage of the topic as well as making operational decisions for adjusting the project flow in accordance with the tasks we were given was an easy-to-do process. In this way, group work was smoothly and collaboratively organised throughout the course that inspired all of us even more each of us might think.
We put all our efforts on ensuring that the entire knowledge we gained was on topic or at least could have provided the knowledge necessary to cover and present the topic. As a result, I felt like a sponge that absorbed the outside knowledge immensely and transformed it into efficient and useful instruments such as skills and valuable ideas for proper development of own design project. To illustrate, visiting London Design Festival at week 3 was one of such crucial events that had a multidimensional impact on my understanding of design from within. Foremost, I had an opportunity to have a real-time presentation of the current international design trends and observe the works of the high-qualified designers. In particular, an exhibition of dozens of light bulbs hanged to the ceiling (figure 1) was one of inspiration spots that showed me that perfect ideas are around me.
Thus, I was not an ordinary consumer of the facts and information I was able to capture and monitor. I felt that I was gaining experience of best practices and tried to apply it to my case study at hand. To be more precise, now I understand that visiting that event enticed me to filter the information I was provided with in search of the knowledge and ideas relevant for me in completion of the project that we had as a group. I believe that was due to the fact that we were initially fixated on the particular task. Nonetheless, I do not consider such approach some distorting mechanism in learning. In contrast, I realise that having a centrepiece in the learning course in practice allowed me to feel the value and importance of learning and be aware of the outcomes of each learning mini-strategy in process. Moreover, it was useful for task-orientated group discussions whereas the teammates shared my vision in this regard.
Previously, I was also among people who disliked browsing the theory and preferred practice at hand. However, such intense and target-centred class, with a variety of learning events and experiences, raised many questions that mere observation of best practices in the field and guessing the most suitable options could not have helped to address. Hence, seminal work allowed understanding of the essence of design relating to international event marketing, the most suitable way to the target audience to approach the topic, and information that may be useful for conveying the intended message among others.
For example, one of the insightful sub-topics in the course was a module linked to lateral thinking. Apparently, this topic was a great insight into the world of design and comprehension of its significance in business and any other environment. As aptly noted by de Bono (2009), lateral thinking is “the method of science which is always seeking to generate new information to upset the old ideas and bring about new ones. It is more than the method of science – it is the method of human knowledge.” I believe that this phrase is a little self-discovery that enabled me to understand the essence of design and the major I pursue. Hereby, people should not ‘invent a bicycle’ each time they seek for innovation. The only issue that matters in designing an event or anything is an individual perception of the task and a person’s capability to perceive it anew.
Final Group Presentation
As I previously noted, group work was of great value for me in the scope of the course, especially based on sharing knowledge and ideas as a priceless learning outcome in the process. During group discussions, as a team, we thoroughly analysed the importance of this issue for increasing global awareness in both cultural and business worlds as core dimensions of my future career and target populations in the project. On the one hand, with a properly designed project, we were likely to impact on the most important human life domain, namely culture, which governs human mindset and behaviour. If we would have managed to properly design an event and convey the central message, it could have positively affected the target audience by enticing a paradigm shift in understanding of the problem and attitudes to this issue by youths. As a result, young individuals would have been more conscious of their lifestyle choices and cared about their health on a life-long basis.
On the other hand, engagement of businesses in the dialogue through their awareness about the shocking consequences of lung and skin cancer was a great way to develop their corporate citizenship attributes. In fact, this constituent of design process allowed me to be focused on the project targets in a twofold way. Apart from evolving as a designer, I was able to enhance my skilfulness in terms of persuasion with respect to business representatives as potential clients and partners in my future endeavours.
The whole group was very collaborative, and it seemed that we completed all parts of the presentation design together. However, I still can distinguish my individual contribution in the process. In particular, I was collecting the relevant information on the assigned topic with the aim of encouraging the positive action in the audience by means of shocking consequences the youths may encounter if they would choose by non-action. For instance, I have collected a few shocking photographs of skin and lung cancer in order to evoke a willing lifestyle change in students to prevent them from risking their lives as shown in figure 2 based on the lung cancer cases. I tried to find self-explanatory visuals to exemplify the danger that the analysed health risk poses.
Event Design Pitch
We worked altogether on preparation of the event design pitch, though my scope of duties mostly concerned information collection in order to reach the target audience effectively as well as promotion activities to engage students in participation.
Undoubtedly, my learning outcomes of the course are extremely significant. First, I was able to cognise the field of my long-term interest in-depth and in practice. Second, I feel that I have greatly evolved as a critical thinker and systems analyst. Specifically, I learned to filter the observed and theoretically consumed information for relevance while evaluating the facts for value at hand. Third, I was able to enhance such skills as tracing topical issues, distinguishing target audience and its needs, and discovering the relevant persuasion tools among others. Fourth, working in a team on a mutual set of tasks was another valuable experience. One of the most important lessons in this respect is realisation of the fact that a well-organised teamwork, along with smooth and trustworthy relationships within its constraints, allows all teammates to mitigate potential problems, and they come unnoticed. I learned to be a productive learner as both an independent thinker and part of the team that is a good flexible approach towards current labour market conditions within today’s constantly changing working environments. Moreover, reflection on each task enticed me to believe that any learning activity is important.
Fifth, my understanding of design was thoroughly changed, especially in terms of applicability of the attained skills and knowledge in the central sphere of my professional interest. Finally, group discussions, especially feedbacks of peers and the tutor, contributed to my self-reflection and self-critique whereas I learned that these factors are important for self-growth. I realised that criticising means pinpointing the weaknesses are aimed at transforming them into personal strengths rather than offending others. As a result, I learnt to read people in this way to positively impact on their development as a leader.
Taking into account report findings, the course combined my long-term interest and willingness to expand the scope of knowledge and allowed me to further improve my managerial toolkit in light of framing the information to effectively reach the target population. The fact that the course was organised as a task-orientated learning activity was among the primary elements that made my learning so multidimensional and productive. Constant focus on a central project was a great way to absorb and filter the skills and knowledge and experience their value at once and immediately apply these in practice.
Furthermore, learning in a team was another great value of the course that allowed me to improve a number of skills that will be useful for my design-related ventures and my functioning as an international event manager at large. To illustrate, I realised the significance of each teammate in group task assignments. Regardless of the fact that every individual is responsible for one’s own scope of duties, their failure to complete the task accordingly will lead to the failure of the whole team. For this reason, I worked on my part of responsibilities in the project to the full my abilities, although I felt that the entire set of goals of the project was accomplished by the whole team as a single mechanism.