INDD Senior Reflects on Auburn Journey

Perry Sherwood, a senior in Industrial Design, is set to graduate in May 2024.

Perry Sherwood
Perry Sherwood

Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Sherwood chose Auburn not just for its quality programs but for the welcoming campus atmosphere that resonated with her.

Initially drawn to engineering, Sherwood’s pivot towards Industrial Design was prompted by an advisor’s suggestion. Sherwood recalls, “I guess something kind of funny was [that] I didn’t know that industrial design even existed until I got here.”

Her decision was validated as she found a major that aligned with her passion for problem-solving and hands-on creativity. Industrial Design, Sherwood notes, “offers the unique blend of creativity and human-centered focus that engineering doesn’t.”

Sherwood’s enthusiasm for Industrial Design is evident in her favorite classes, particularly the hands-on studios, which provide a platform for her to engage with professors, work on projects and gain a taste of the professional world.

“I love industrial design studios because that’s when I get to do my hands-on projects, hang out with my friends and talk one-on-one with my professors. The studio is also where we get a taste of the professional world, so I enjoy it a lot.” Sherwood shares.

She emphasizes the freedom and creativity afforded by the Industrial Design program at Auburn, distinguishing it from other majors.

She credits her professors for connecting her to valuable internship opportunities.

“I owe both of the opportunities that I’ve had to my professors. I wouldn’t have applied for either internship if it weren’t for them,” Sherwood acknowledges. Her first internship was with Peak Season, a furniture design company, and her current role at the New Venture Accelerator, a joint effort of the Harbert College of Business and the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation, showcases her dedication to applying design principles in real-world settings.

Additionally, one of Sherwood’s proudest accomplishments is the design of a board game aimed at promoting Industrial Design to younger audiences.

Sherwood expressed her passion for designing the board game, stating, “My family is a huge game family and I’m very competitive in nature, so I love games. I got to put in the graphics, and I was very proud of the end result because it ended up being a working game that my friends enjoy playing.”

Looking ahead to graduation, Sherwood’s future remains open-ended. While leaning towards entering the workforce, specifically in design consultancy, she emphasizes her adaptable and open-minded approach to whatever opportunities may arise.

“I don’t have my heart set on anything, which is kind of fun. There are a lot of open doors in front of me,” Sherwood reflects.

When asked about advice for students interested in the Industrial Design program, Sherwood reinstated the importance of balance, acknowledging that experiences outside of academics are equally memorable.

“At the end of the day, when I graduate, I’m going to remember the bowling nights, the movie nights, game nights and the moments spent with my community—doing Bible studies and coffee dates with my friends,” she shared. “I’m going to remember those things more than I’m going to remember the assignment that I got to B on instead of an A. School is important, but it’s essential to remember to do things that feed your soul alongside that.”