By Marielle Payton
As a freshman, Samuel Fish was excited about getting hands-on with different creative projects and designs. Now, he’s still pursuing that passion–just a little differently.
Fish started college as a Mechanical Engineering major, certain he’d be a great fit for the program. Now, he is a junior Industrial Design major studying at the International Center for Creativity (ICC) in Columbus, Ohio. Though he could have never predicted the path his journey took, he wouldn’t have wanted it to go any other way.
Mechanical engineering was fascinating–but challenging. Fish was interested in the work, but had a hard time in classes, failing several and struggling to keep up. The workload was overwhelming, and he felt defeated. He was even considering transferring colleges, doubting his degree and plan–and that’s when he met Adjunct Instructor of Art, Design, and Theatre Gabriel Pyle.
Pyle introduced Samuel to a whole different side of design, one that combined Fish’s love of art and design. Samuel liked to draw and sketch for fun, often doodling on notebooks during class as a way to cope with stress. After meeting Pyle and researching more about the ICC, he began to seriously consider industrial design, a degree that is often compared to mechanical engineering.
“I switched majors not on a whim, but on a guess,” Samuel said. “I had a feeling it was the kind of thing I’d be interested in, and Cedarville’s industrial design program is incredibly broad. There’s so much you can do with it, from problem-solving, product design, and car design.”
So he decided to give it a try–and he fell in love with it.
Fish was even more excited than when first entered school as a mechanical engineer. There was something completely different yet very familiar about industrial design. After the initial nerves and uncertainty wore off, he dove into his coursework headfirst.
“It was quite fun,” said Samuel. “I was like a kid in a toy store. I absolutely loved it.”
Switching majors set Fish back a year in school, but he was able to settle into a career field he enjoyed and find purpose in his new major. He still uses and finds applicable the ideas and concepts he learned in mechanical engineering and applies them to his current classes, especially his physics classes.
Now a junior, Samuel is enjoying his time in the ICC and is incredibly grateful for the community he’s found there. He now works as the junior class campus liaison between industrial design students in Columbus and Cedarville University, working to provide helpful information and foster a good relationship between the two.
“I’m still figuring out my place in industrial design, and thinking through what direction I want to take it and what I want to do in the future,” Samuel concluded when reflecting back on his journey so far. “One day, I hope to build beautiful, biblical designs that can showcase God’s glory, whether it’s doing interior and exterior design, building houses, or just creating helpful objects that can truly help others.”
Marielle Payton is a junior Professional Writing and Information Design major, journalist, and public relations writer from Northern Virginia. When she’s not studying, you can find her catching up on current news and politics or binge-watching CBS crime shows.