Cheyenne Raker, Designing Her Life
When Cheyenne Raker began the graduate program at Georgia Tech she wasn’t sure she belonged there. Now she is graduating with a master’s in industrial design from the College of Design. She also has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Ohio Northern University.
“Graduate school is hard, and imposter syndrome is real,” Raker said. “But I always had to remind myself that I didn’t get here by accident. It took just one person to see something in me that I didn’t even see in myself, and here I am. I couldn’t be prouder of my last three years here at Tech. I will forever be grateful for each of my professors, the faculty, and students who helped me along this journey.”
That journey included a few hurdles. When she started the graduate program she expected the workload to be just a notch above the undergraduate level.
“I learned the hard way,” she said. “I took 19 credit hours my second semester, and I did not have a life. I don’t know how I got through it. I think playing sports while growing up helped me with time management.”
Raker faced another hurdle when the pandemic hit. She was working on a project that required the use of 3D printers and the design studio when the campus switched to online learning in Spring 2020.
“I needed to finish all of my prints before I couldn’t come to campus anymore,” she said. “I got everything printed, took all of my stuff home with me, and I was able to finish my project from home because I had everything I needed from the studio. But I’ll tell you — trying to do industrial design from my computer is not the same.”
In July, Raker will begin working as an industrial design engineer at Hubbell Lighting in Greenville, South Carolina. She interned with the company in the summer of 2019.
“I really enjoyed the type of work I did, and this position is a perfect fit that aligns both my undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and graduate degree in industrial design. That was one of my biggest goals I wanted to achieve,” she said.
Before beginning her job, Raker has a couple of adventures in the works.
“The weekend after graduation, I am planning to go camping in the Great Smoky Mountains, filled with all adventurous things like zip lining, hiking, and ATV riding,” she said. “I love the outdoors, and this kind of escape will be a great way to relax, both mentally and physically, and doing things that bring me joy and peace.”
Beginning in June, Raker and her family are going on a cross-country road trip for several weeks, visiting national parks and other sites out West.
To celebrate Commencement, Raker’s mom, dad, sister, and her sister’s boyfriend will join her in Atlanta.
“At Commencement, I am most looking forward to walking across that stage, crying a tear or two, and just realizing I accomplished one of the hardest things in my life,” she said.