Smith College Pilots Designing Your Life for Women 

Patty Woods and Stacie hagenbaugh of Smith College's Lazarus Center for Career Development, and Margaret Lamb, Fellowship Advisor, facilitate Life Design for Women Pilot Program

Schools are jumping right into life design curriculum prototyping, even before coming to the Life Design Studio. The Smith College Lazarus Center for Career Development in Northampton, MA hosted a series of Design Thinking workshops for undergraduate women earlier this year. Their workshops were inspired by the DYL for Women Retreat in Pacific Grove CA during the summer of 2017. Two of the Center's staff attended, and they were inspired to use what they learned, and the DYL book to create a life design experience for the students of Smith.

SmithWorkshop participants engaged in a transformative DYL process; they worked on life design exercises, including mindmapping, discussion of work and life and examination of dysfunctional beliefs using new handout created by Lamb. They felt empowered to solve the "problem" of planning their future while authentically reflecting on what they want to accomplish. 

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Here is what Smith students had to say:

“Designing Your Life taught me how to think about my future in a way that excites me and feels honest to who I am. “

“This workshop pushed me to grow in directions that excite and inspire me. In thinking about my future, I accepted options that feel safe, while learning that daring to think bigger was where I found the most inspiration and joy.”

“I learned the tools to inquire about who I am, what I value, and what I want to do professionally and personally in a way that feels personally fulfilling and meaningful.”

“The workshop helped me slow down and re-focus my energies on what is truly important to me. It helped me re-set onto my path, but also made me realize I’m open to being derailed for certain opportunities.” "Rather than looking at challenges as impossible feats, I view challenges as problems with sometimes clear/sometimes hidden solutions."

Patty Woods and Stacie Hagenbaugh, the Smith career educators behind the DYL workshops, along with Margaret Lamb, Fellowship Advisor and designer of the Dysfunctional Belief handout Smith used in their session, are excited to share what they have learned and to continue to build on their prototype successes in the next academic year. We hope to have them join us for Studio 2019!