Tatum T.


My degree may not be one that you would think would have an influence on the state of Michigan. Often times it is looked down upon and even brushed aside as if it is not a degree that can make an impact. I plan to attend the University of Michigan and obtain a Bachelor’s degree of Fine Arts in Art and Design. Through this program I will be able to gain the experience, skills, and knowledge I need that will help me in the design field of my choice. I am interested in consumer product design, and with this degree I will have the experience to branch off into another field of design known as transportation design. My degree will increase my chance of gaining the experience I need to one day work for one of the big three automotive companies as a designer. My hometown Detroit, Michigan is known as the "Motor City," home of the big three automotive companies: Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors. In recent years, these three companies have faced challenges in selling their cars. There are several factors that may have caused this problem such as safety issues or problems within the current economy, but what if the economy was not the issue: what if the appearance of the car was? Each year more Americans are buying vehicles made overseas such as Toyota and Honda for their history of reliability, but also for their overall appearance of the exterior and interior of the vehicle. Each year Ford, GM, and Chrysler may make an improvement to the performance of the vehicle, but very little enhancement or change to the overall appearance. For some, this is a key aspect to their decision on purchasing a vehicle. I could be the one having people raving over Michigan made cars again and put Michigan's prize motor city back on the map. I hope in the future my designs will not only help enhance the appearance of future vehicles, but also open the doors for females in the male dominated automotive industry. My fine arts degree could help break down barriers for young women across the country wanting the opportunity to go into this industry. A fresh and new design perspective will cause the demand of Michigan’s homegrown product to rise. Not only will Michigan made vehicles be in higher demand which will lead to job growth, but they will also help support and maintain Michigan’s economy, as well as cause an increase in demand for Michigan made vehicles around the world. However, I hope that I will not be limited to design for just one of the big three companies. With plans of a new transit system being built in the Metro Detroit area I hope for the opportunity to crossover and design other types of transportation throughout Michigan. I am confident that someday my hard work and passion for design will pay off, and I will be able to make a positive impact on the state of Michigan.