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Thinking Like a Designer

The Business and Entrepreneurship Career Channel held the first of two workshops hosted by Aaron Bauhs, ’05, Associate Partner with IBM Consulting, in late October.

The goal of these workshops is to teach students how to use creativity and empathy to reshape Fortune 500 businesses. During the first workshop, Aaron spoke with students about his role in IBM and shared the skills required to get corporations to think like humans to improve people’s lives.

During his time at Beloit, Aaron helped form The Center for Entrepreneurship in Liberal Education (CELEB) and was an active member of the community. Aaron graduated from Beloit in 2005 with majors in Studio Art and Business Administration (now, Business Economics).

Aaron used his Beloit connections to secure an internship at Orlandi in New York City, a contract manufacturer of scented advertising and product extensions for luxury and mass consumer brands. This opportunity then led to his first job, also at Orlandi. After his time with Orlandi, Aaron worked with NYC Social, a startup that provides recreational sports leagues and events. Looking for a change, Aaron started a part-time MBA at New York University, Stern School of Business and a new full time job with Li & Fung, a marketing and logistics firm for toys and technology. Today, Aaron is an Associate Partner with IBM Consulting, where he and his team advise companies such as Universal Orlando and Live Nation.

Aaron used the first workshop to introduce students to design thinking. Design thinking refers to the process in which the innovator seeks to understand a user’s problem in hopes of finding creative solutions that the user had not thought of before. There are five stages of design thinking:

  1. empathize
  2. define
  3. ideate
  4. prototype
  5. test

The innovator then gives their solution to the user and the solution is implemented. Students are given characters with unique problems. Students are then broken down into small groups and are asked to brainstorm advice that could be given to the characters to help solve their problem. Each group is then responsible for presenting their character, the problem they face, and are asked how they came up with the advice. Students used MURAL to successfully participate in this workshop. MURAL is a website that provides a platform for people to share their plans and ideas to a larger audience.


IBM is currently offering free certification in Design Thinking.

Consider signing up for the Business and Entrepreneurship Career Channel!

Antonio Rodriguez’23
November 06, 2020

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