When violinist and composer Kai Kight was in his last year of college, he started to envision the future he wanted for himself. His vision: to combine his musical talent and his background in innovation (he has an engineering degree from Stanford University’s d. school) and speak to companies around the world, using music as a metaphor to inspire creativity. To do this, Kight realized that he had to rethink how he spent the remainder of his time in school — he had to “create the sounds of tomorrow” in order to bring his unique idea to fruition. Here, he discusses how he was able to do that, as well as why he thinks students need to maximize their time in school by trying new things.
Contour: In your “Why Majors Don’t Matter” TEDx Talk, you discussed the importance of students crafting their own roadmap while in school. Why do you think it’s important for them to do this?
Kai Kight: Oftentimes, we go into the school setting looking for a certain outcome — a salary we want to make, a certain job we want. You don’t fully realize that you’re in a place where your No. 1 job is to invest in yourself, to transform yourself. So keep your eyes open to experiences that might not be on that typical, set path because those will differentiate you and provide you with more opportunities. Look for ways that you can learn something new and expand yourself that might not be obvious. And we have access to so many different resources while in school — take advantage of those.
Read more in the February issue of Contour.