After two successful summer internships, Matt Safian ’15 has accepted a position as a product designer for Flipboard, a digital media startup. The company produces a mobile app that aggregates content from social media and presents it in a personalized magazine format. Safian will work on refining the existing features and interfaces of the product and help direct the future of the app.
“I have long had a dream of working in Silicon Valley as a designer to create products that enhance people’s lives,” Safian says. “This opportunity to work for Flipboard is more than I could have ever asked for.”
Safian is completing his degree in “Interaction Design,” a major he designed himself that combines graphic design, computer science and psychology. He interned for Flipboard this past summer.
In 2013, Safian was one of 12 students out of more than 2,000 applicants to win a design fellowship from the famous Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
KPCB Fellows are assigned to the venture-capital firm’s portfolio companies. Safian served at Luvocracy, an online social-shopping start-up built around recommendations from fellow shoppers. He worked as a product designer, crafting interfaces to improve user experience, whether through the website or mobile application.
The other 11 KPCB Fellows during summer 2013 were almost entirely from Harvard, Yale, Stanford and schools that teach only art and design. Safian was the only student selected from a liberal arts college.
Good design is about more than art and style, Safian says. It requires a nuanced understanding of psychology, sociology and anthropology.
“The liberal arts environment at Connecticut College couldn’t be a more perfect place for a young designer,” says Safian.
Eventually, Safian hopes to start his own company or create a product that changes the lives of people everywhere.
“What I love about Matt is that he knows what he wants to be and that he is at a school that supports him in building a major that best supports his career goals,” says Brooke Thompson, head of design of Luvocracy.