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Ray Florant, a Barrett senior majoring in industrial design, recently completed an internship abroad that afforded him the opportunities to get experience in his field and learn a new language.
Over the summer of 2013, he received a paid internship at Augenstein Design, a toy design firm based in Munich, Germany
“I just up and left to a new country. I didn’t even know where I was going to be living,” said Ray, whose hometown is Fort Collins, Colo.
Ray’s job was to develop new toy designs which could be created by engineers and possibly be mass produced throughout Germany.
Workdays, which began with meetings to go over objectives, were chock full of activities, including creating toy concepts, product testing, creating computer models, making presentation boards, and sketching ideas for early form development.
When Ray wasn’t working, he enjoyed socializing with co-workers and locals at the river Isar in Munich and practicing his German language skills.
Ray was thrown straight in to the German culture and came out three months later with an intermediate knowledge of German and even more experience in his field of study.
However, this wasn’t his first time experiencing a new culture; Ray had previously visited 23 other countries and lived in Australia.
He explained that his career path is not about making a lot of money; it’s about “doing what I like to do and funding my travel. Travelling is always worth it.”
In the future, Ray hopes to design safety gear for motorcyclists.
He is currently involved in the Industrial Design Society of America, and Innovation Space, a class that involves a team of industrial design students in making a new toy sponsored by Disney. “Only the top nine industrial design students got in. I feel privileged,” Ray said.
Ray has also been involved in other organizations such Honors Devils, a Barrett student organization that helps with recruitment for the college. As an Honors Devil, Ray conducts campus tours and tells prospective students about his Barrett experience and opportunities.
“My favorite part about Barrett was the sense of community when I lived in the residence halls. It was easy to make friends and have fun,” Ray said.
Ray’s website showing his industrial design work is http://rayflorant.com/
Information about Augenstein Design is at http://www.augenstein.de/index.html