5 Helpful Tips from a Scholarship Winner

Posted by Alex Altieri on 3/11/19 12:19 PM  |  3 min read time

The 2019 Vectorworks Design Scholarship is in full effect. Only a few months remain before the August 29 deadline.

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If you’re looking for inspiration as you wrap up the semester, consider these five tips from the 2014 Vectorworks Design Scholarship and Richard Diehl Award grand prize winner, Diego Bermudez:

  • Don’t procrastinate
  • Prepare to lose motivation
  • Get feedback often
  • Prepare your “elevator pitch”
  • Focus on your impact

Tip #1: Don’t Procrastinate

For his project, “Circasia: Engaging the Creeks,” Bermudez had to first understand the coffee-growing community in Colombia, the site and its ecology, and learn about inhabitants’ perceptions of adjacent creeks.

“This took a lot of time,” Bermudez said. “If I had put off doing all the research about the site, I wouldn’t have been able to create the in-depth presentation that impressed the judges.”

Take that into account when budgeting your time. A winning design takes effort and planning from months out. Consider the end goal. Let that drive your planning.

Circasia-Topography

Tip #2: Prepare to Lose Motivation

This relates to Bermudez’s last piece of advice but takes it a step further. It’s important to recognize that your future self may lose motivation, especially at this point in the semester. It takes an active effort to address this.

“Setting up the framework early helps to prevent burnout because you don’t have to start from scratch after you’re already that far in the semester,” Bermudez said. 

To prevent burnouts, he suggests submitting a project you’re already working on for class: “Knowing your GPA depends on getting your project done is great motivation!”

Circasia-Masterplan

Tip #3: Get Feedback Often

Bermudez met with his studio professors twice per week, every week, during his project’s lifespan.

“With their insight, I was really able to push the envelope and design a paradigm shift in how the people of Circasia interact with their natural resources,” Bermudez said.

Ask others for input. Sometimes it just takes a second eye to create something great.

Circasia-Street-Plan

Tip #4: Prepare Your “Elevator Pitch”

“Make sure you can explain your whole project to someone in the time it would take to ride an elevator,” Bermudez said.

A succinct, to-the-point elevator pitch will show others that you’ve thought about your project, that you take it seriously. Make your hard work apparent. 

“Plus, if you win the scholarship, then you’ll know what to say when everybody asks you about your work!” Bermudez added. 

Circasia-Details

Tip #5: Focus on Your Impact

On submission, students must answer a few short questions in 150 words or less. That’s very little space to make your case.

For that reason, he insists you write about why your project will matter. Focus on what your project can change when answering the questions. Keep it short. Remember that each word counts.

Circasia-Public-Space

What are you waiting for?

Submit Your Work

Topics: Richard Diehl Award, Circasia: Engaging the Creeks, Diego Bermudez, #FundMyVision, 2019 Vectorworks Design Scholarship

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