Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

The End is Not the End

I can't believe it. Yesterday was the final day of "school," for the Design Thinking program. Only one week left to explore and create, or should I say, design more experiences that will shape my future. It's hard to believe that things are coming to an end. There was so much anticipation for this journey to begin and now we near the end. But I hope this is not the end. I don't believe it has to be. For me personally, I hope to make it the beginning of a new life. A life forever altered by all that has taken place the last three or so weeks.

Coming on this trip has been a sacrifice for all of us, some maybe more than others. Many left behind spouses and children with faith that what would take place here would be worth it. Me personally, I parted with my wife and my daughter, which has been something of a hardship at times. Regardless of each person's individual situations, weall left our homes, families and way of life with faith that this program would enrich our lives enough to make it all worth it. I can't speak for everyone (though I feel I possibly could), but for me, it has been worth it. The sacrifice feels to have yielded a greater, long-lasting reward.

The collaboration of the business department and the design department was a unique idea. I was curious to see how the two schools of thought would mesh. How we would learn from one another. We all seemed so different. But you know what? I think we found out we were more the same than anyone would have ever guessed. I learned so much from the business students and professors (I am a design student, by the way). Not only did we educate one another with our knowledge of our respective fields, but we taught one another more than that. Forging relationships-friendships would be a better way of saying it-I learned lessons from a perspective outside of my own. The two different brains, the left from the business and right from the design, brought together created a new way of thinking. We learned together the attributes of human centered design. Seeing and experiencing history, in person, specifically design in history, along with new and modern forms of human centered design, accelerated the learning process and made a huge impact. We learned a lot from all we saw and did, but I think we learned just as much from each other.

As I review all the events of the last few weeks, my initial feeling is that of sadness that it is so quickly coming to an end. Then I think of what will live on and feel nothing but joy. The lessons were not just for a grade, not just for USU credit-they were life lessons. They were real. I'm sure that years down the road I will recall my days here and pull inspiration and ideas from what took place in the beautiful land of Switzerland. The friendships forged here will go on. I have no doubt many of us will keep in touch for decades to come. Coming to Switzerland may have taken us away from home, family and our way of life for a time, but what I, personally, have gained during this time will be with me forever. It is not the end. It is only the beginning.

The view in Leysin:

Olympic museum:

Chillon Castle:

Castle ruins in Sion:

The Valley of Death on the way to St. Bernard Hospice/Monestary:

Cow fighting:

Yvoire, France:

Cathedral in Fribourg after a barefoot pilgrimage:

From the top of the cathedral:

Solar boat experience:

Rolex Learning Center:

Castle view in Spiez:

This is how you feel when you're in Switzerland:

The days are long, but always worth it:


The most beautiful mountains and hike in history:

Freitag store:

Me with my mustache:

Thanks for reading!

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