Chelsie “Phancie” Thompson is a 2020-2021 Fellow. Chelsie is a native Detroiter and has a background in international studies, sociology and education.

Tell us about your host company and your role in the organization.
My host company is General Motors! I work as a Design Thinking Consultant. Similar to what we do as Fellows, but I am doing it for different departments around the organization.

The Marketing Strategy I worked on for Detroit Phoenix Center.

Tell us about the challenge project you’re currently working on; what are you learning from the experience?
I am currently working on the Detroit Phoenix Center Challenge Project. The Detroit Phoenix Center helps youth who are experiencing homelessness in Detroit. Because of Covid-19, DPC wasn’t able to reach out to as many youth as previous years. I led a team where we produced an Outreach Strategy, a Marketing Toolkit, and put together all of our Empathy Interviews. I learned the importance of language when working with different communities.

How do you hope to impact the community as a Fellow?
I hope to have a positive impact on the community. I want every deliverable I participate in to be centered around the user, so that we can meet the needs of the community.

Since becoming a Fellow, what is something new that you have learned?
I have learned about Figma, which is a digital prototype site. In the fellowship you meet so many people that have gained skills and know about programs that you are unfamiliar with. The best part is that they want to share that with you and vice versa! I was able to learn about new project management apps and more that can help me with my current career and outside of it.

How do you believe your fellowship year will shape your career moving forward?

My fellowship year will shape my career because I will be searching for a career that is more human centered. I like working on projects and I like working with people and individually. I was able to do both during the fellowship.

If someone is reading this and considering applying to be a Fellow, why would you encourage them to apply?You will gain a lot of experience in the Design Thinking methodology which can be used in various settings, from healthcare to engineering and beyond. You will make so many friends who also have an interest in making the world a better place.