CAMD alumna Amanda Pinsker ‘17, who is now a Product Designer at GitHub, reiterates the importance of this real-world experience Scout offers. She was in Scout for two years, serving as both a Project Lead (junior year) and Design Director (senior year) while earning her BFA in Interaction Design. She is grateful for all of the learning opportunities she had in Scout, particularly when it came to strengthening her leadership skills, and working with other successful women, designers, and business leaders.
“Scout is a community that cares about you and sets you up to be supported, successful, and challenged; I think the group does a great job of emulating the world outside the university and setting the highest standards,” Amanda said. “Scout is preparing the next generation of designers. Even as students, we were working on actual businesses and launching campaigns for them; it was very real-world, and it was very empowering.”
Northeastern, specifically its student body, has worked exceptionally hard to help create and contribute to this supportive and empowering environment. Student-led organizations, particularly those that fall under Mosaic (like Scout), have been key in maintaining this momentum. Mosaic is Northeastern’s alliance of people who share a passion for leading and building new things, and the students and faculty who are a part of it have a lot in common; they embrace the importance of innovation, equality, creativity, and everything in between.
“Mosaic is, honestly, an absolutely mind-blowing part of Northeastern,” said incoming Scout Co-Director Liz Pratusevich. “I can’t believe that students have the chance to experiment with different parts of entrepreneurship and leadership from their first months at college. And it’s constantly growing, along with Boston’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
One new organization that just joined Mosaic last year, which has already found ways to partner closely with Scout, is called WISE (The Women’s Interdisciplinary Society of Entrepreneurship). Recent CAMD (and Scout) alumna Aarti Amalean, Interactive Design and Marketing, was a founding member of the group and served as the Director of Brand Design. In this role, she built the women-centered organization’s brand strategy and helped establish what WISE may want to evolve into and what its future goals were.
“Ultimately, we landed on a series of colors for each of the three WISE programs: we support, we learn, and we build,” Aarti described. “This gave us a visual system specific to each of these pillars so we can differentiate each one, and we wrapped it all up by creating a brand guidelines document.”
Before the visual system was created, Aarti dove deep into research, exploring what women entrepreneurship means at Northeastern. She interviewed women representatives from all of Northeastern’s colleges, the greater Mosaic community, and other women-centered organizations on campus. Members of Scout played a key role in these discussions, and many echoed how helpful the organization had been in empowering them. Aarti, herself, has been one of these women.
“As a student who had been in Scout, I was surrounded by many other designers, and this helped me see how design should be executed,” she said. “Scout gave me a really great foundation to make decisions on my own, to be a sole designer on projects, to advocate for certain design needs, and to work effectively with clients. My experience within Scout gave me a holistic, well-rounded foundation to take a leadership position at WISE, and I look forward to seeing the future collaborations unfold.”
It will be an exciting year as WISE and Scout continue to work together to empower women across fields and disciplines. The new leadership taking the helm at Scout will continue to foster the supportive environment that the group has been known for since its founding six years ago.
“After all, Scout’s most valuable asset is the people in it; we would be nothing without each other,” Liz added. “Being part of Scout isn’t just about the work you produce. It’s about walking into Scout HQ, our personal corner of Ryder, and feeling at home. Being able to ask questions about anything design-, career-, or life-related and get answers. The Scout community has also grown beyond just the students who are actively working during the semester. Our Scout Network Slack channel, where current + past Scout members stay in contact, has almost 200 people in it! Being able to connect past and current members brings value to both sides of the equation, be it mentorship or possible job offers.”
This continued, long-lasting community and support that Scout offers truly are one-of-a-kind.
“Scout teaches students to be fearless when presented with a problem or a challenge,” concluded Professor Barrios Ponce, who will be serving as the organization’s faculty advisor for another exciting year. “We empower women leaders to walk away thinking, ‘I’ve done it,’ ‘I’ve built it,’ and ‘I’ve trained the next generation.’”