Classes at Penn started this Wednesday, which left me feeling extra insecure about all the free time I was letting slip by. This week, I continued my search for a part-time job while exploring a few new hobbies.

The highlight of my week was cat-sitting with my roommate. My entire…

Attempting to maintain some structure in my life with this weekly blog

With my undergraduate coursework finished and 9 months to go before I start grad school, I’ve decided to take a leave of absence from Penn for the spring semester! I’ll be on campus in an off-campus apartment in Philly but will not be taking classes. I also decided not to…

Photo by Ricardo Rocha on Unsplash

I got into design by accident.

I’ve always seen myself as a scientist at heart. Growing up, curiosity about how the world works and experimentation as a means of better understanding it challenged me intellectually in a way my past creative endeavors never had.

As a kid, I loved to…

musings and reflections from my first ‘design’ hackathon

Photo by Anthony Indraus on Unsplash

Originally published at on November 27, 2019.

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Princeton University with my good friend Linda Ting to design at Rehack, the first ever collegiate reverse hackathon. We were challenged to “think deeply about [our] interactions with technology and redesign consumer tech products in…

Why I started to write about design

Photo by Samuel Ferrara on Unsplash

Originally published at on October 26, 2019.

I’ve sat down to write my first blog post more times than I’d like to admit. Starting a blog to document my progress has been a goal of mine since starting college a year ago. …

Jess Tan

student @penn & designer @pennlabs | portfolio @

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