We had the chance to interview Assistant Professor Mindy Magyar, who joined the faculty of the Industrial Design department last semester.

Student: What is your position at RIT?

Mindy: I am an Assistant Professor in the Industrial Design Department.

Student: Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from originally and what did you study in college?

Mindy: I am a proud Jersey girl, so I appreciate the diner culture of Rochester but will probably never feel completely at home until Rochesterians figure out pizza and bagels.

As an undergraduate, I studied both Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and American Indian Studies. So then, of course, I joined JP Morgan after graduation and began my career investing in fixed income, private equity and venture capital assets.

Eventually, I left Wall Street to pursue my passion for design and obtain an MFA in 3D Design at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Recognizing the profound potential of merging design and business strategies, I then went back to school again – this time to pursue an MBA at the Wharton School, where I focused on Arts & Culture Management and Entrepreneurship.

Student: Where did you work before coming to RIT?

Mindy: Before joining RIT, I worked at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. After business school, I had been awarded a fellowship in the Executive Planning Office at the National Museum of the American Indian. As a fellow, I developed retail strategies to simultaneously increase revenue in the shops, teach the public about contemporary indigenous arts and culture, and further the both educational and programmatic goals of the Museum. I then joined the Institution as a full-time employee in Smithsonian Enterprises, developing business ventures across the entire Institution. This job allowed me to leverage my design, engineering and business experiences alike. As a Project/Design Manager, I designed physical spaces and visitor experiences that were engaging, educational, culturally appropriate, and profitable.

Student: What made you choose the path of becoming an academic?

Mindy: Clearly I love school. But it is more than that. I believe wholeheartedly in the power of education and aim to support students in achieving learning experiences as transformative as those that I have had.

Student: You are fairly new to the RIT faculty. How has your experience been up until this point?

Mindy: Fantastic. The students and faculty in this program are extraordinary. I am amazed by the work being done in the studios every single day.


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