TEDxUCSD | 2017 | vanessa-wong
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Vanessa Wong ’19

Major: Visual Arts (Speculative Design)

Minor: Business


Tell us about yourself!
Vanessa Wong is currently on the design team for TEDxUCSD. Vanessa does not simply want to work for a living, so she persists in having a career where she can combine her artistic passion with her interest in professional business. When she is not playing around with Photoshop or Illustrator, you can find her either window shopping on her laptop, playing tennis, or going on random food adventures. Moving from Hong Kong to Los Angeles to now San Diego, Vanessa really enjoys travelling as she enjoys gaining different perspectives in different places and people.
What is your favorite TED talk and why?

Patti Dobrowolski once told me, “a solitary fantasy can transform a million realities.” Coming into a STEM-focused and research-based school, I constantly seek for inspirations and ways to help myself stand strong for my passion for design and prevent myself from forgetting my individual passion just to fit in with everyone else surrounding me. I always find it difficult to stay driven on the path I desire with so many influential factors around me, as those factors end up shaping up who I become in long term. Yet as Patti had taught me, there is a way to beat the odds and to be that 10% to stay on that dream path of yours and control your own life. From Patti’s talk on “Drawing Your Future,” I as a visual learner learned how to solidify my visions to physically see my passion in order to believe my own desires. I always find it amazing how many speakers like Patti have a voice strong enough to change or inspire a person’s thinking in just a short 10 minute of time; that is the time it takes for me to encourage myself to keep moving forward with my passion.

What enticed you to choose your major(s) and/or minor(s)?
I see the potential in studying Speculative Design major as I learn to speculate how design plays a key role in the ability to solve interactive problems in our world through visual communication. Wanting to use my passion for design to make an impact in a professional path, I picked up a Business minor due to my interest in marketing and interacting with people in business industries. Although my major is considered new to the design industry, I strongly believe that I should not be defined and underestimated just by the label of my major as the practical skills I put into use to gain real-life experiences is what matters.
What is your interpretation of this years TEDxUCSD theme, Madness and Miracles?
Rather than defining madness with craziness, I think of madness as a particular trait that causes one to think differently and creatively in a way that not everyone would understand. Although madness is not commonly accepted by the majority, I think that it is a trait that makes one stand out and causes miracles to happen. Miracles are meant to be surprising and at times innovative, and they are all created by a little madness that we all have in our mind to try to make a difference in the world. It is just the matter of whether we want to express our madness to the world or keep it in to be stay accepted by the society.
Who/What inspires you?
\I am often inspired by my friends/peers who advise and guide each other to succeed. Being in a motivated environment is definitely what can push me to go beyond my limits and step out of my comfort zone. That is why I enjoy being surrounded by motivating and inspiring people who set as role models for me to achieve as, as in my future career I would like to do that same and be someone else’s role model as guidance.
If you could have a super power what would it be and why?
I would want to have the power to be able to persuade anyone I want. Persuasion is one of the most important skill or power you can have. It plays a key role in convincing people around you about your ideas, your need to get support and resources in your life, and communicating to the world on what you have to offer and point out your value to the world.
What's one thing you can't live without?
One thing I cannot live without is curiosity. I think that curiosity is what pushes people to go beyond their limits to explore the unknown, which is what makes this world keep modernizing. Curiosity is always the motivation for me to move forward from where I’m at. Even though at times I am confused with which direction I want to move towards, I feel like what is more important is to keep moving forward and then find the direction along the way.
What is one life goal that you have?
My ultimate goal in life is to be able to travel around the world. Yet before I can reach that goal, it is important to make step by step goals to move forward towards that direction of my ultimate goal.
Choose a song to describe you and explain why you chose this song.
Brave by Sara Bareilles
Brave is one of those typical songs that I would listen/ sing along to while I am working or driving in the car to feel energized and motivated. This song gets me by pointing out one of the weaknesses that I have, which is having the courage to speak up on what I want to stand for. This song describes my constant reminders to myself to keep working towards improving my weaknesses.