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Career Connections: Senior Trends Analyst

6 minutes

My name is Rebecca Huffman. I'm a senior trends analyst at LPK in Cincinnati. We are a global brand design agency, based all over the world. Cincinnati is our global headquarters, and LPK's a great company. A lot of us are designers with design backgrounds, and our company really helps us be creative. As a trend analyst or trends forecaster, I work with designers to help them determine the future. When designers are designing products, they are looking to make things that will hit market in two years, five years, fifteen years, sometimes even 50 years. So my job is to work with design teams, with marketing teams and with other companies to really figure out how to bring in colors and tell stories and bring in language that's really going to help consumers get what they need. Sometimes my job feels like detective work. We're presented with this problem, and no one knows the answer, and it's really on me and on my team to figure it out, so we're sleuthing. Mermaids are the new vampires. Nobody believes me.

(Huffman) We're searching the Internet and through visual media to get clues to this bigger puzzle and putting the pieces together. We might be looking at something like stationery or something like the print and pattern in wallpaper, and that could translate to a shampoo bottle or to even something as functional as toilet paper. This career is something that you can get ready for, honestly, in a lot of different ways. My degree is in fashion design product development, but you don't have to go to school for design. Our intern right now is studying fine arts. She's studying ceramics. So when we look for people to do this job, we're looking for people who show that they're very curious, very passionate, who know how to translate something conceptual into something tangible. In high school, for example, that might be sculpture or photography. We really care about the thought process. Any class that allows you to explore that sort of thinking is going to be useful. Being well-rounded is very important. It's very important to explore things you're interested in, even if you don't see how those things tie together. I'm fortunate to be in a job that uses design and uses art, but it also incorporates English, it incorporate science, it incorporates technology. Having those interests is serving me well, and I'm glad that I pursued them in school. We are doing a project for a millennial brand, and they want us to figure out what it means to be iconic to a 21 to 27-year-old. I did a number of internships in college to get where I am today, and that helped me figure out what I wanted to do and what I liked and didn't like. Any experience that gets you out of your comfort zone is so important to developing you as a person and a creative and helping you figure out who you are. After college, I started working here immediately. There are so many things about my job that are exciting. What I love about this career is that I'm doing something different all the time. I also love that I can come to work and be curious. I have many questions and many things to explore, and I get to come to a place that celebrates that passion and engagement and read and write and draw and design and make and do things that make me feel inspired every day. A lot of times I go home feeling more inspired than when I came to work. This career is pretty impactful on society because we uncover needs people have that aren't being met, that they can't express. That makes me feel good. A lot of times we will work with a client for several years, building a project and an idea, then I'll see a commercial or see it on the shelf and say, "I helped make that. How cool. Look at how it's so new and so different and so fresh." There's something really beautiful about helping people to get cool things that will really help better their lives.

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A senior trends analyst explains how her passion for design, combined with her high school and college coursework and internships, helped her to establish a rewarding career at a global brand design firm. Part of the "Career Connections" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 6 minutes

Career Connections
Episode 1
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 2
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 3
3 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 4
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 5
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 6
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 7
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 8
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 9
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 10
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12