New York, New York
SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Master of Arts in Exhibition Design; Fordham University, Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts: Architecture concentration, Business Administration minor.
As a native New Yorker, Pauline enjoys speed walking down the mean sidewalks of the city. Prior to joining Gensler, she pursued her interest in experiential design by exploring different paths such as exhibition design, experiential marketing, interactive media, and theater projection design. This diverse background informs her ability to make interdisciplinary connections and translate them into innovative opportunities to engage a target audience. With a vision for theatrical storytelling grounded in a client-focused mentality, Pauline is always excited to immerse herself in analysis of a subject to extract key insights that drive well-informed design choices.
Briefly describe some highlights of your first year at Gensler and in the DSD Program.
Highlights include joining our office gToastmasters club for public-speaking practice, making it onto the front page of a client’s intranet site, and finally feeling like I’ve found a career path that taps into my design thinking skills and has the potential to channel all the various interests of my past lives. Yet, the ultimate highlight has by far been experiencing the camaraderie that has developed among my fellow DSDers, especially within my New York cohort. I know that I can rely on these smart, talented, and thoughtful women (yes, NY’s Cohort 3 happens to be comprised entirely of 6 women) for project resources when I’m in a bind, insightful advice on how to tackle client challenges, and just a friendly pick-me-up conversation when I’m stressed. It’s a support system that I have found to be invaluable this past year.
What has been one of the most valuable lessons learned during your first year?
Ask clarifying questions and ask them often, whether it’s to clients or to colleagues giving you direction on a task. It’s critical to understand the goal behind any ask. If something seems like it doesn’t make sense, don’t be shy to ask why we are doing something a particular way. In doing so, you gain greater context behind certain project decisions, and, other times, you are actually able to point out a new perspective on approaching a challenge that someone just hadn’t thought of yet.
Briefly describe your current day to day.
As everyone will tell you, every day is different. Being able to adapt, multi-task, and problem-solve are skills that we continuously hone as we navigate through what can sometimes be shifting priorities within a day as things pop up. I typically juggle 3 projects alongside the DSD curriculum work in a given week. A day could include: drafting change management communication text for emails to be delivered to a relocating population, holding a post-it note-filled work session with my team to review a storyboard of a client presentation, jumping into InDesign to produce a workplace strategy kick-off deck, or diving into excel data analysis to pinpoint key findings from an employee survey. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
What advice would you give someone applying to the DSD Program?
Reflect on your professional priorities, do research on the type of work your target office is doing, and understand what you want to get out of the DSD experience. With Gensler’s size and breadth of services, the potential to explore other practice areas may one day exist for you, but understand that a majority of the consulting work, and consequently, your work, will reside in the workplace sector. The client and type of project will generally be dictated by your location (e.g., In New York Consulting, there are a lot of workplace strategy projects for financial service firms).
As for your dossier application, read the directions carefully and take your reader on a journey. If your life was a book, what would its title be? Part of our job is creative storytelling, so give it a go and make your story a must-read. And PLEASE downsave your file well before the deadline (says the girl who finished her dossier but wasn’t able to reduce her file to fit the size limit restriction in time and then had to wait a whole year to apply again, only to discover that the case story she did was the one case story that got swapped out for a new one – no, I’m not bitter at all. But hey, it was worth it!
Describe your host office in 3 words or less?
Agile, vigorous, GO!