Hometown: North Delta, BC
Concentration: Joint Major in Business and the School of Interactive Arts + Technology
Taylor Ward’s Beedie experience has been tailor-made for success. By combining internships across Canada and the US, leadership roles in student organizations, and first place at the global IxDA Student Design Challenge, Taylor created a unique, personalized experience – one that culminates this fall in a coveted graduate role at Facebook.
Taylor begins his role as Product Designer in San Francisco after receiving the job offer at the end of a successful internship with Facebook in their Seattle office. As an intern Interactive Designer, he worked on high profile projects examining how users consume videos on the site and app.
According to Taylor, life at Facebook is everything you would imagine it to be.
“The culture is super fun, and a lot more open than I thought it would be,” he says. “Everyone is passionate about what they are doing. As a young designer, it was really empowering being around these senior designers. And the office is like a playground – it’s a similar vibe to Google.”
Taylor’s Facebook internship was the final one in a string of internships during his studies. Through Design Intern roles at global advertising agencies R/GA in New York, CP+B in Colorado, and Dossier in Vancouver, Taylor not only gained invaluable career experience, but also continuously built upon his design and business skills.
“Design and business come hand in hand in industry, and my Beedie education has given me a unique way of thinking,” he says. “Business tends to be very grounded, realistic, and procedural, while design tends to be logical and creative. It’s two different streams of thinking, and I’ve gained a balance between them. Business has also helped me collaborate with people who aren’t designers. That’s really important.”
Away from internships, Taylor set the pace at the prestigious global IxDA Student Design Challenge in 2015. With a competition theme of envisioning the wearable city, Taylor earned first place for his novel shoe insole design that transforms kinetic energy from every step into potential electricity that can be used to power cities.
In addition to a prize package valued at more than $3,000 in research and design tools and access to conferences around the world, winning the competition was a pivotal moment in Taylor’s career.
“I tried to imagine a wearable using our existing habits to redistribute power back into the city – what if this technology was stronger and how would that redefine how cities worked,” he says. “Winning IxDA opened a lot of doors. It is the project on my portfolio that changed everything for me, and got me into the internship programs at R/GA and Facebook.”
Earlier in his studies, Taylor held a number of senior roles in student organizations. He worked as editor-in-chief of The Executive Magazine, a student-run publication produced by the SFU Business Administration Student Society (BASS), and acted as Director of Marketing for Beedie FROSH, a signature Beedie event that helps new students transition from high school to university.
He further expressed his artistic side through the production of a number of videos about the Beedie School’s Be More campaign, and documentaries exploring business school case competitions in general, and one documenting the Beedie JDC West team’s experience winning the Academic School of the Year award at the 2013 competition.
As Taylor gets set to start what is arguably a dream job, it is apparent that his rich Beedie experience has undoubtedly paid off.
“Working with products and apps is something I am passionate about, and I have found that at Facebook,” he says. “Facebook embodies all types of design, critical thinking, strategic design, and motion. But design changes so frequently that it is hard to know in ten years where the industry will be. I’m curious to se what opportunities come my way.”
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