Design Strategy: Alumni Q+A with Alida Draudt, futurist at Capital One

Little did she know, her future would involve predicting the future.

alida-draudt-DMBA-alum-presenting

Alida Draudt presents at the annual Long Now Member Summit in October 2016 alongside co-author Julia Rose West, who is also a CCA DMBA alumna.

When Alida Draudt (DMBA 2016) entered CCA’s MBA in Design Strategy program, she already had a background in design and innovation consulting. What she wanted was a brighter future—little did she know, her future would involve predicting the future.

Throughout the DMBA coursework, Draudt honed her exponential leadership skills and learned how to make connections across platforms, areas of expertise, and even time. She uses this foresight and ability to weigh unseen variables and unexpected developments in her daily work as a futurist for Capital One.

We caught up with Alida to talk why she chose CCA and how our DMBA program gave her what she needed to enter the financial industry—a completely new field for her—at a leadership level.

What made you look into a Design Strategy program?

I thought an MBA in Design Strategy would help me advance my career as I grew into strategic and director roles (which proved absolutely true!).

Why CCA?

As a school, CCA has a stellar reputation and came highly recommended from some of my coworkers who had also pursued master’s degrees at CCA. Talking with the professors, gaining insight from colleagues, and ultimately believing the quality of the school and program led me to decide on CCA, and I’m so glad I did!

What was the commitment like?

I loved the low-residency aspect of the program. While it could be frustrating at times given the need to coordinate multiple time zones, ultimately it allowed for more flexible working, studying, and socializing schedules and honestly prepared me for what a career in strategic, usually distributed, companies would be like.

It is not through brute force that people become effective leaders, but through showing the way by example, fostering a sense of trust in their team.”
Alida Draudt (MBA in Design Strategy 2016)

Best parts?

The process, frameworks, and creative inquiry entrenched in each class were all incredibly helpful and additive to my education. The most valuable thing I gained from the DMBA program, however, was through the Leadership By Design course. Through this course I learned how leaders can (and should!) embrace their vulnerability. It is not through brute force that people become effective leaders, but through showing the way by example, fostering a sense of trust in their team. This class taught me vulnerability, the power of extending trust, and the wide variety of leadership styles that can be unique to you. I’ve used those lessons continuously since graduating from CCA.

The right thing to do next

California College of the Arts cultivates intellectual curiosity and risk-taking, collaboration and innovation, compassion and integrity. We champion the importance of creative leaders in solving social, cultural, environmental, and economic problems. With a MBA in Design Strategy from CCA, you’ll be prepared to innovate at the intersection of business, design, and innovation in whatever industry you choose—or whatever industry chooses you!

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