Rocky Moon graduated from the MEITE program in 2019. Originally from Atlanta, Moon has lived in Florida, New Orleans, and North Carolina. He is a first-generation college student and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, where he majored in history.
Moon began his career working with Upward Bound, a federally funded organization that provides high school students with increased opportunities to attend college. From there, he joined City Year through AmeriCorps, moving to New Orleans, and taught at a charter school.
“It was one of the most difficult, most fulfilling, best years of my life,” Moon said. After that year, Moon moved back to Atlanta and worked for an organization that recruited college students to volunteer abroad through North Carolina State University.
Moon currently works for the Emily Krzyzewski Center in Durham, North Carolina. The Center assists students in college readiness. Many of those students are first-generation college students, minority students, and students who come from low-income households. He serves as a college readiness counselor, where he works with a cohort of students who are academically focused and motivated to complete their college applications. In this role, Moon knew he wanted to take the next step in his education and learn about design thinking, which led him to MEITE. “When I looked up design thinking programs in the RTP area, MEITE was the only program that stood out,” he said. “I had a conversation with the program director and learned the curriculum is structured around design thinking, problem-solving, and the best way to design things.”
Moon said his two favorite parts of MEITE were the people and the program’s flexibility. His cohort worked well together, and faculty members listened to the students and worked with them. MEITE’s flexibility gave him the opportunity to choose classes that truly inspired him while being able to still work full time.
While in the MEITE program, Moon began a deep dive into innovative projects that he wants to continue. Currently, Moon is developing an app with a group of students from Carolina and is also working with a fellow MEITE alum on a college access app that targets middle school students. He is also pursuing a project named Skilled, which is an app that assists students in finding job program opportunities focused on developing the technical skills needed for a job without attending a four-year university.
One piece of advice Moon gives to current MEITE students is: “There are going to be times when you will feel overwhelmed and a lot is on your plate, but do not underestimate what you are capable of.” He also suggests students begin networking now and to network as much as possible using MEITE’s connections. Those connections are valuable to Moon as he foresees himself using them along with his degree as key ingredients for advancing his career.
Moon’s professional goal now is to work as a design consultant for a nonprofit or organization focused on social good.
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