CCS MFA alumna Morgan Phillips welcomes the challenges and rewards she faces as a user interface designer

MFA: 2011 Major: Interdisciplinary Design Employer: Cross Country Automotive Services (Boston) Title: User interface designer Morgan Phillips may be new to the Boston-area, but sheâ??s no stranger to â??goodâ? design. She recently accepted a position at Cross Country Automotive Services as a user interface designer. In this role, Phillips is responsible for researching new opportunities for roadside assistance applications and then taking her findings to the next level by designing the appsâ?? look and feel. â??Switching careers has been my greatest accomplishment,â? said Phillips. â??Having previously worked in journalism and newspaper design, the transition to interdisciplinary design and marketing has been a welcomed challenge. â??Over the years, I've gained experience in different factions of the auto industry. Iâ??m still new to this position, but I like that Iâ??m able to contribute in new and innovative ways. Now that I've found a career I love and can grow with, my plan is to work in product development and strategy. Eventually, I'd like to move those skills into my own consultancy.â? Before graduating with an MFA from CCSâ?? interdisciplinary design program, Phillips earned her undergraduate degree in visual journalism from Kent State University. After college, she accepted an internship at the Detroit Free Press where she was eventually hired as a full-time designer for the news and business sections. Phillips covered topics ranging from the auto show to the UAW strike and the Kwame Kilpatrick mayoral scandal. She also took part in an internship with the marketing team at Dodge. Phillipsâ?? creative process has been shaped by various sources of inspiration as well as lessons she learned while completing her graduate thesis, which examined the potential for reducing childhood obesity by targeting snack time in elementary schools. â??Inspiration comes in various forms at different times,â? she said. â??For example, great object and product design gives my creativity a jump, but so does avant-garde fashion like Alexander McQueen. â??The thesis experience will impact me and my career for a very long time. Learning to solve problems, think criticallyâ??and quicklyâ??as challenges arise in the process and build confidence in my ideas are what Iâ??ve gained from the program. â??If youâ??re a prospective MFA student, don't fear the thesis! Remember it's supposed to be challenging and make you think. This is a degree that's not handed out, but earned by those who put in the work. There's no better reward than feeling that sense of accomplishment. Also, don't be afraid of failure; good ideas often come after many failed attempts. Having the courage to try again will make you stronger.â?