At Parsons with Justyna Kedra
Everyone who's into fashion, art or design should know about this school. Parsons School of Design is a global center of art, design, and business. One of the best in the world.
I have a pleasure to know well one of the graduates - Justyna Kedra. She's 100% Polish and 200% amazing. A really great friend as well as businesswoman. She invided me to acompany her at Parsons Reunion last Saturday. We saw very inspiring fashion movie of Willi Smith and got to hang out at the building where the new artistic ideas and personalities like Justyna are mastered. So here's what I got to know first hand about the New School's 'user experience':
ME: What did you study at Parsons and when?
JUSTYNA: I studied fashion design, but focused my electives on business and entrepreneurship and graduated in 2014.
ME: How did you like it? What did they teach you that is unique?
JUSTYNA: Going and graduating from Parsons was one of my biggest dreams ever since I could comprehend what the words “college”, “education” and “future plans” mean. While I was at Parsons I absolutely loved every minute of it. It was extremely hard because all classes are long, involved and very challenging, but that teaches you how to fail, challenge yourself and persevere.
One thing that people might not associate Parsons with is how through the way they make you execute projects, they not only teach you design and technical skills, but also lots of entrepreneurial skills. Being away from school and now running my own company I realized how they prepare you to be able to run a company. You have to think of an idea, work on it long and hard, take lots of feedback from multiple people, execute it flawlessly, pitch, pitch, pitch and then pitch again. That’s just like running your own business.
ME: What is your favorite Parsons' memory?
JUSTYNA: Being awake for 3 days straight and sleeping over at the school because there were not enough hours in the day to finish all the projects. Seems like I am exaggerating, but it’s true. I always compare it to being in a zombie mode for all 4 years. Although it’s physically exhausting you get to learn so many things: what you’re passionate about, how to work, prioritize and as I mentioned before how to fail. The entire experience was a blast at the end of the day and I’d do it again in no time.
ME: What do you do now?
JUSTYNA: I’m the CEO of Fundventures, which is the first product blossomed from a platform I founded two years ago, WE Rule. It’s an app where entrepreneurs connect to each other, growth opportunities as well as investors - globally. We have a network of 500+ entrepreneurs and are hoping to solve for the gender gap in venture capital. Did you know that women owners in the United States only get 4% of venture funding? Insane. We have a lot of work to do, but thanks to Parsons I have all the tools I need.
Thank you for the interview and for making this world a better place for not only women but for all of us! I LOVE YOU AND I AM WITH YOU!