Today we’re talking to Amanda Villarreal, a Texicana, business-minded powerhouse who works in human-centered design. Amanda grew up in a Mexican-American family surrounded by brothers and worked across social work, politics, academia, tech, and business before landing at frog, the legendary 50+ year-old strategy and design consultancy that worked with Steve Jobs in the 1980’s to design the first Apple products.
As I mention a few times during the show, it’s fun to watch how fast Amanda’s mind moves. This episode is for you if you’ve been wondering how to connect the dots and find the superpowers in what feels like your own patchwork career – as Amanda shows, those varied backgrounds give us strength and the ability to approach challenges in creative, multi-disciplinary-informed ways.
For Amanda – this ability to connect seemingly disparate things came from two places: 1) growing up as an artistic kid and 2) the superpower of an ADHD mind when given the tools to thrive and let go of the judgement of a non-linear path.
In the second half of the show, you’ll hear about Amanda’s amazing dad Jesus, who grew up a mile from the Mexico – US border, ended up at Boston University as an engineering student, then got his Masters from MIT, where he founded the first Latino Students Organization. Amanda credits not only his academic intelligence, but his immense emotional intelligence and empathy for all he’s been able to accomplish, and all he’s been able to do for their family.
Learn more about Amanda and her work at amandanvillarreal.com – check out this post about entering the design field as a non-designer.