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  • Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders Testimonials

    Whether in its original incarnation at Harvard Business School or through the current program with the Yale School of Management, AIGA’s “Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders” course has consistently been a life-changing experience for design professionals. Just hear what some of our graduates had to say:

    “Creative leaders will walk away inspired and highly educated on significant business tools and principles. The faculty and curriculum are world class and made learning a pleasure… The lectures blended hands-on activities, lively class participation and practical case studies, all led by truly passionate and caring professors.” —Stephen Gay, Innovation Catalyst, Design Manager & Strategist, Intuit

    “I had debated attending this course for years because I thought the issues and clients our studio dealt with were not of the caliber discussed during this course. I could not have been more wrong. Everything is relevant; the quality of the instruction is excellent and the insights by fellow students add to the learning. I'm refueled!” —Rita Sasges, Principle + Creative Director, Sasges Inc.

    “The program did precisely what its name suggests: provided me with business-centric points of view and tools to help me think about design's relationship to other disciplines. It also provided me with new, grounded ways to think about personal and personnel development.” —Randy J. Hunt, Creative Director, Etsy, Inc.

    “The program was immensely valuable: it was so closely tailored to the challenges and opportunities of creative professionals, the professors were outstanding and engaging, and the classmates were an incredible bunch of talented, passionate people.” —Emily Iles, Design Director, Pelopidas LLC

    “An exceptional experience. The professors were engaging, inspiring and totally accessible. I was so impressed with my fellow attendees and I learned that I'm not alone in my efforts to make design matter.” —Jackie Roberto, Founding Partner/Creative Director, Madison Design Group

    “It's a career changer. I came away with so much that will influence my thinking from here on out.” —Jason Ackley, Director, Design, Marketing Services, Morningstar Inc.

    “The program exceeded my expectations. I've come back energized and refocused with a much better understanding of my methods, employees and clients. Not only was the group environment stimulating and fun, the level of instruction was of the highest caliber. I recommend without reservation.” —Joan Maloney, Studio 318

    “Highly strategic business principles taught by top-notch educators; brilliant design gurus collaborating in the futuristic Evans Hall; fantastic dinner bashes... The AIGA “Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders” was a truly outstanding program! I will forever be grateful for the knowledge that I was able to bring back to the workplace, and I will always cherish the forged friendships that will last for many, many years!” —Evangeline Weber, Senior Art Director, Ambit Group, LLC

    “The program is an exceptional way to spend a week learning from a stellar faculty that promotes open-minded classroom discussion. From start to finish the program exceeded expectations and I highly recommend it.” —Alexandra Tuller, Principal, Drake Creative

    “This program completely transformed my perspective on the relationship between design and business. The professors are top-notch and the material was highly accessible, relevant, and well structured. I highly recommend this program for anyone in a design leadership position.” —Alissa Briggs, Senior UX Manager and Principal Designer, Intuit

    “It was exciting to learn with, and from, such brilliant, creative people, and also have it be so fun; I loved every minute and learned more than I dreamed possible in such a short time.” —Ginnie Smoliar, Manager of Visual Communications, PPG Industries

    “The AIGA program at Yale School of Management is an incredible launch pad for designers to increase their impact by marrying design thinking and business principles. Highly recommended for those who are looking to supercharge their minds and careers.” —Sarah Williams, Beardwood&Co.

    “The AIGA|Yale program offers “insider knowledge” from respected business leaders and academics on how to streamline, monetize and invigorate your design team or practice. I found the curriculum up-to-date, the lessons insightful and the connections between classmates and professors invaluable.” —Ned Dodington, PDR VisComm Team

    “In one short week I gained practical insight into business practices that are foreign to most creatives, became inspired to push beyond common limitations and truly enjoyed myself amongst other like-minded people.” —Sarah Struck, Casa Dorinda

    “I came into the program with a degree of skepticism that was possibly more than healthy. Now I am an advocate. I am already pushing for at least three colleagues to join next year!” —Alessandro d'Ansembourg, Zago LLC

    “Being surrounded by some of the brightest business minds in the world and like-minded colleagues, in a stunningly impressive setting, was a greater experience than I had hoped for, or could have imagined. The classroom energy, debate and conversation were electric. I left feeling inspired to not only do bigger and better things, but to do them smarter and more thoughtfully.” —George Argyros, Soulsight

    “Simply priceless. My colleagues were some of the friendliest and most intelligent people, the professors were phenomenal, and the topics were exactly what we needed to know—and, what we didn’t know we needed to know. This one week has completely transformed the way I understand business, and it will continue to benefit me for many years to come.” —Salem Al-Qassimi, Fikra Design Studio

    “A priceless learning and networking experience. It provided me with the tools and support I needed to improve my strategic skills and enhanced my ability to analyze processes and procedures to improve communications and efficiencies.” —Robin Colangelo, White & Case

    “This is by far the most relevant and useful continuing education program I’ve ever taken. The professors were hand selected and their material was tailored specifically for our class. The very next day after the weeklong session, I had the confidence and the know-how to implement new strategies in my business.” —Jill Spaeth, Citizen Creative

    “Attending the program has been a game-changer for me. With the strong foundation for strategic business principles instilled in us by this program, I can bring more value to my clients as well as my firm. The strong friendships I forged here with fellow designers will last many years.” —Mandy Lamb Meredith, Widgets and Stone

    “To say life-changing would be too cliché; the AIGA professional development program at Yale’s School of Management has proved to be incomparably perspective-changing. As a designer and a leader, this once-in-a-lifetime experience has fundamentally increased my knowledge, insight and open-mindedness to the environment to which I both work within and serve—all from the most prestigious educators who are amazing storytellers with unparalleled content.” —Martin Ringlein, Nclud

    “This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from and be surrounded by some of the most brilliant, interesting and entertaining minds around, as the caliber of both the professors and students was stellar. Thank you for a phenomenal experience.” —Tammy Taylor, Wells Fargo

    “I believe the ROI for this program will benefit our firm and clients for years to come. Learning how to understand fundamentals of accounting, negotiations, operations and compliance may not sound creative—but through the lens of design the application and possibilities are exponential.” —Zack Shubkagel, Willoughby Design Group

    “This program exceeded even my highest expectations. I learned so much, so fast, and enjoyed every minute of it. I can’t offer enough superlatives to describe the professors—they were remarkably engaging in the classroom and made even the hardest subjects easier to grasp.” —Sherry Bastion, Lenovo

    “If you’re a designer who wants to understand how business works—for both you and your clients—this one week will change your life.” Michael Bierut, Pentagram Design

    “A mind-altering experience! I will never approach a new business presentation the same way again. You can’t effectively position your company to raise the perceived value of your design work if you do not know the real parameters by which you will be judged. This program provided me with tremendous insight into C-level thinking.” Bennett Peji, Peji Design

    “Terrific. The instruction was top-notch. The topics were on target and directly applicable to our roles in the design world. And best of all my colleagues in the program were a phenomenal group of people.” Julie Baher, Citrix Systems

    “If you’re considering attending the program, go for it! I loved every minute of it, and came away with a much deeper understanding of business concepts, strategic planning, competitive strategy and finance. It’s hard to know what the best part was—the faculty, the fascinating exchange of ideas, the other attendees, the staff—the whole experience was tremendously rewarding. It is a truly excellent program, and I learned much I could immediately use. I’d go every year if I could.” Janet DeDonato, Methodologie

    “This program was just perfect. I believe I’ve made connections that will last a lifetime and useful skills I've already applied to my day-to-day professional life.” John Militello, Google

    “I found the experience at Harvard one of the most fulfilling and meaningful experiences of my professional and academic career.” Debbie Millman, Sterling Brands

    “This experience opened my eyes to untapped opportunities and solid ‘design thinking’ solutions to the challenges of bringing citizen-centered design into a large government bureaucracy-the IRS.” John Jacobin, Internal Revenue Service

    “This week was more than worth the time and money. I came back energized, with new ideas about how to think about our business and our clients’ businesses. Bring an open mind and don’t worry if you feel like you don’t know what to expect. Do your best to finish all the readings in advance! You definitely do not want to miss out on the steadily excellent off-line conversations.” James Bradley, Chase Design Group

    “I am just back from a new business meeting at which I felt so empowered and presented what we offer in such a different way that my partner turned and looked at me with amazement and said ‘You were unbelievable! Did you learn all that in one week?’ It was life altering, empowering, frightening and so worth the investment!” MaeLin Levine, visual asylum

    “Go! It’s five intense days that’ll improve the way you think and work for the rest of your career; you’ll feel smarter but leave wanting more. It’s mind-opening concepts AND everyday applicationsplus great people to learn with and from. And it’s essential information that you didn’t know you needed—and now can’t do without.” Laurie Churchman, University of Pennsylvania

    “Attending the program literally changed my view of the relationship of design and business. The program is designed to challenge and deconstruct our assumptions about business and it provides hands-on strategies to shape new conversations about the value of design as seen through the eyes of C-level executives. I learned amazing things about myself and fellow designers. It was one of the best investments I have made in my career and the new friendships are beyond measure.” Ann Willoughby, Willoughby Design Group

    “A revealing experience! It has become much clearer to me how most of our clients think and function. For a whole week, I was trained the same way that they’re trained for life: think ‘profitability’... it was worth every minute and every penny!” Marian Nunez, Aji Pinatao

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