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Happy Homecoming!

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Hi everyone!

This past week was Homecoming. I know you're probably all familiar with Homecoming week, football, and dressing with spirit, but Homecoming at the U of M is another story! There are many different events to mark the celebration, including a lip sync competition, step competition, flag football tournament, and the Homecoming concert.
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On Friday night, TCF Bank Stadium was packed for the Homecoming concert and it was really fun. Iggy Azalea performed with opener Walk the Moon. Iggy performed all her hits including Fancy, Black Widow, and more.

Saturday followed with the football game against Purdue University. It was an intense game with a final score of 39-38, with the Gophers winning of course! This win puts the Gophers at 3-0 in the Big 10 play for the first time since 1990. The win also makes us bowl-eligible. Go Gophers!

It was a big week for students and fans, and we all can't wait to see what Homecoming will bring next year!

Megan
Interior Design

Exploring Minneapolis

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As important as getting to know what campus life is like at a school, it's also really important to think about the surroundings off campus! I've been assigned a project in one of my classes (ARCH 3711) that includes going to two places in Minneapolis for research of social behaviors. My two assigned places are Cowles Dance Center and the Guthrie Theater.

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Cowles led me downtown, where there are so many events and different restaurants to explore during a night in the city -- especially concert venues (Target Center, First Avenue, etc.) that hold shows for many big names in the music industry. There is also the Holidazzle Village in the winter that is a fun excuse to get out into the city for a night.

My visit to the Guthrie led me across the Stone Arch Bridge which surprisingly, I had never actually been to before, despite living right outside the Twin Cities my whole life. It was a beautiful walk and there is so much to see, especially entering the Mill District on the western side of the river. The Guthrie Theater building is open to the public and has some great views of the city. I recommend exploring it even if you're not going for a show!

Above is a photo I took from the campus side of the river, looking out to the city during sunset after my day of exploring. I recommend getting to know the areas outside of campus, because for some reason, I hadn't much yet. So get out there and explore!

Megan
Interior Design

I'm Famous!

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FullSizeRender.jpgOkay so I'm not REALLY famous... but through my Instagramming and blogging for the College of Design, one of my photos has been published on a magazine cover! Emerging is a magazine by the University of Minnesota Twin Cities College of Design that tells stories of students, alumni and faculty. It's a free magazine and and you can check it out here (that swirly pink picture, yeah, that's mine! And there I am holding it up!). For those of you considering the life of a design student at the U of M, it's a great source to see what's been going on in the College of Design and the kind of things students, alum, and faculty at the U of M are up to!

Who knew that this photo I posted early in the year was being looked at! I guess that just means that you really want to put your best foot forward, and present work that you are proud of and is the best it can be, because you never know who will be seeing it!

Megan
Interior Design

I'm Employed!

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Hi everyone!

I'm now officially employed for the summer at Hom Furniture! I'm working as a Design Assistant which is a new position and includes a variety of things. It's an awesome opportunity for me because it's an actual job and it's in my field. Just after one year of school I have a job! I can't even believe it myself. I'm going to be learning so much this summer working with customers to help them choose furnishings for their houses and even participating in house calls for customers working with the designers. I'll also be assisting with setting up and laying out the store displays and visuals. It will be a great mix of things that can help me see different aspects of interior design and a little bit of business mixed in there too!Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 5.39.00 PM.png

The best advice I can give for looking for a job now or in the future is being persistent! It takes a lot of work reaching out to companies and people and expressing your interest in their company. Determination is the key!

I've just completed my first week which consisted of training and now I'll really be getting going and I'm looking forward to it! This job is the largest time commitment of a job I've had and it's also the most grown-up job I've had! It's a little scary but it's an amazing opportunity and I'm so lucky!

Hope your summers are off to an awesome start!
Megan
Interior Design

IT'S OVER!

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My freshman year of college is officially over! It's summer and I'm writing this post sitting out in the sun. It feels great! But the end of the year didn't come without finishing up a lot of work

First of all, there were finals. Those speak for themselves. With a few hours of studying I was prepared and ready to go. They went pretty well I think but of course you never know for sure until you get the grade back! A lot of people were moving out of the dorms all week and it was really weird seeing people go and the year coming to an end.

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There was also portfolio review. On Monday all the pre-interior design students went in for an hour to set up our portfolios and display all the work we had done this year. On the right you can see my display. That day the faculty of the department looked through all of our work and a few days later I got an email saying I had passed! I'm now officially an interior design major!

After the stressful week of finals, portfolio review, and moving out. It's great to not have to do anything. I have a second interview coming up at Hom Furniture later this week and soon I should know if I have the job for the summer!

Wish me luck and have an amazing summer!

Megan
Interior Design (officially!!!)

Finishing Off The Year

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Portfolio review and finals week are just around the corner! It's the last week of classes and for the next three days I'll be working to finish up final projects and prepare my portfolio.
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For interior design studio we just turned in part one of our final project (pictured on right) and now we are building our 3D models to turn in Wednesday! Once it's done it'll look awesome and be worth all the time invested in the final project. Color class is finishing off with a final design and the preparation of our complete portfolio with all the class projects. Then comes the time to gather all the projects over the course of the year and put them together for portfolio review!

There's a lot to do these last two weeks that I'm here and I'd be lying if I said it was smooth sailing and I'm not stressed. I'm very stressed! But time management is key to making it through finals and portfolio preparation. Here is a short list of suggestions for time management that I think are helpful in staying on track so that those all-nighters don't actually have to happen!

I hope everyone is finishing off the year strong! Just keep in mind that summer is ALMOST here, we can do it!

Megan
Interior Design

The Job Search

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My search for summer employment continues and it's getting very close to the end of the year. I'm so determined to find something involving interior design for the summer but I didn't expect it to be so difficult! Since I'll be home for the summer, I've been searching for places near my house and I was actually amazed by all the interior design places around me!
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My search started with Google and turned up with quite a few firms. My mom had got this magazine for me called Artful Living, it's a local magazine that features interior design, architecture, cooking, and fashion. The photo to the left is of the cover of the latest issue incase you want to check it out! They feature an online version on their website as well for you to take a look at! It's a huge modge-podge of things but it included a lot of names of interior design firms in the Twin Cities area!

After my research, it's time to start contacting the places. I'll be sending out my resume and portfolio, hopefully landing a summer position for myself! The Career & Internship Services is a resource at the U that can help students in their internship and job search. They can help you put together a resume and portfolio which increases the chances of landing a job because of your impressive portfolio! I'll be using their advice when I reach out to these companies.

It's getting closer to the end of my freshman year! Portfolio review is getting closer and closer and finals are approaching quickly too. As much as I want finals out of the way and to be able to enjoy the summer weather, I'm sad to see it coming to an end. I still have three years but it's amazing how quickly this first year has flown by! There's still a lot to do but I'll be making the most of the end of this year! Good luck to everyone on finishing up the year and wish me luck with my job search!

Megan
Interior Design

About A Month To Go!

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Here we are, a month away from the end of school! I'm almost done with my freshman year of college and I really don't know if I'm happy or sad about it. I guess it's just a big mix of emotions! One-fourth of the way done with college!
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This last week was quite the week for me. I returned from spring break with a nice fever to start off the week back at school. Being sick at school was definitely one of my biggest worries leaving home but with the help of Boynton Health Services, I'm alive and well to tell you all about my experience! I ended up with a fever of 103 degrees and ended up going to urgent care in Boynton where I was tested for a few things. I instagrammed a nice picture of the doctors office (to the right) while I waited for some results. I was given medication and started improving quickly and after a few days of waiting for lab results, it turns out I had some weird form of strep. I felt completely better two days after starting the medication and it was the biggest relief to have that sickness go away. Now I guess I know I can survive being sick at college! Now everything is well and I'm back to being healthy.

Finals are coming up along with portfolio review so it's going to be a very busy last month of school but I'm just looking forward to summer and nice weather! I'm also still on the job hunt for summer employment in a job in interior design which is another thing on my list of to-dos but if I manage my time well enough, this last month will hopefully be a piece of cake. I've had some fun visiting my friends at their colleges these last few weekends. It's been really fun and it's interesting to see the differences between each school, I definitely suggest visiting friends when you're all off in college! Not only is it good to see a familiar face but the chance to experience different places is so interesting. But now after my little time of travels, it's time to hunker down and get to work on projects, papers, and studying!

Good luck to everyone as we all finish up the school year! We'll make it to summer, don't worry!

Megan
Interior Design

It's Spring Break!

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Hi everyone,

Spring break at the U has begun! After a week of midterms and projects I'm getting a well deserved break! Although I wish I could say I'm venturing off to some exotic location, I traveled the 20 minute car ride home. But I won't complain about a week relaxing at home with good food and no homework.
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To the right is a picture I took of the city as I left Minneapolis for break and posted on our UMNDesign Instagram.

Some of my high school friends will be coming home so getting to see them will be really nice! I also get to spend time with my parents and my dogs and get to sleep in my bed in my own room. College has really made me appreciate the little things when I come home! There's something about the food at home that just can't compare to anywhere else. I wish I had known to appreciate it more before college but now getting it when I come back makes it so much more special. I've prepared a list of all my favorites and I can't wait to have them at home! There's also the luxury of showering without shoes which I never knew would be as satisfying as it is.

I'm also trying to find a summer job related to interior design. I'll be at home this summer so I've been researching places close to home and hopefully they'll have a job opening! I wish I had some website I discovered that helped me out but in all honesty, good-ol google was my friend in this search. I was amazed to find out all the interior design businesses within 10 minutes of my house, I had no idea they were there! It would be so awesome to be a first year student and be able to do a job in my desired field! Wish me luck!

Although it's definitely not a tropical beach, being at home is all the vacation I need this break. It'll be relaxing, easygoing, and, best off all, it won't break the bank! Hopefully it'll be productive and successful with the job search, we'll see!

I hope you all are enjoying your spring breaks and the spring weather here. Looks like summer might come after all!

Megan
Interior Design

Things Are Getting Real!

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image.jpegAll the pre-interior design students are venturing into the world of texture and pattern this month! Our latest project has been a challenge to find fabrics and other textures and patterns to use with an analogous color scheme. We got to use the big wall of resources in the studio (pictured on left). It's been sitting there full of fabrics all year and now we get to use it!

It's been really fun rummaging through all the things scattered about and picking out some really fun pieces and I even got to put dsg.nr to use finding furniture pieces to hypothetically reupholster!

Although this project has been very time consuming it has also been really fun! It's an enjoyable thing for me and there's nothing better than getting to do homework that you actually find fun! I'm currently working on the layout of the final boards and I can't want to have it completed and see it all put together. You've just got to love that feeling of holding a completed project, I know I do!

Check out the UMN Design instagram where you can bet I'll be posting photos of projects and things were working on in the interior design program!

Megan
Interior Design

Dsg.nr: Pinterest for Designers!

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Hi everyone!

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I recently found out about this great website perfect for interior designers! Whether you're just looking to kill some time or looking for furnishings for a project, its a really cool website. It's called dsg.nr. It's a website a lot like pinterest (one of my favorites for killing time). Basically, you search an item and get a huge list of different things and you can 'like' them and design your own rooms by making boards. It's really cool and I can see myself spending a LOT of time looking at it.

We're just starting a new project in IDES 1602 and I think this website will be of use for me! We are just starting to use color and pattern in our designs and we also get to select furniture so you can bet that I'll be searching stuff on this website and I'll probably spend a lot more time than necessary searching for the perfect pieces for my project!

Fun Fact: the previous interior design blogger, Ashley, was recently featured on the website! Click here to read about her as she answers questions about her experience as an interior design student at the U of M!

Megan
Interior Design

Getting Back in the Swing of Things

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After a month off of school for winter break, getting back into the routine of classes and college can be stressful. I know I was just getting adjusted to life at home again when I came back to campus to start the spring semester! A new schedule can be intimidating, especially being a first-year student, but the key is to prepare yourself beforehand! It's the second week of classes now and I'm already quite adjusted with my schedule!

U-of-M-Campus-Connector.pngI have classes now on West Bank and in St. Paul. I live on East Bank so I'm not so familiar with these other areas of campus. I'm really relying on the bus system this semester to get me to these other areas of campus (it's a lifesaver, especially in the winter). It's important to understand and become familiar with it because once you understand the Campus Connector (pictured on left) and Circulator systems, navigating campus becomes much less daunting. I also like to prepare for a new schedule by looking at the Interactive Campus Map to know where the buildings I'm supposed to be going to are located. Last semester I was on East Bank and in St. Paul so I'm now experiencing life over on West Bank two days a week. After this semester, I'll be a pro at navigating all 3 areas of campus which is quite an achievement I'd say.

Another new experience I'm having this semester is taking an online class. I'm really learning how important time management and organization are. Take a look at Karly's post about the wonders of keeping a daily planner! I know mine is going to be attached to my hip this semester.

Figuring out how to navigate campus according to your personal schedule is a great thing to do ahead of time. Also, keeping a planner is another component to a successful and less stressful beginning to the semester. Going into new classes confident and prepared make the transition back into the school routine much more manageable!

Megan
Interior Design

Getting Acquainted!

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Hi everyone! I'm Megan and I'm a new blogger for the College of Design. I'm a first year student just starting my second semester at the U of M and I'm a Pre-Interior Design major. In my free time I enjoy watching movies, knitting, and crafting with my friends (I spend a LOT of time on Pinterest...). I'm so excited to share this blog and all my experiences as a design student at the U of M with you!

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I'm from Plymouth, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis. I'm not the kind of person who knew all along where I wanted to go and choosing a college took me a long time. Being undecided of my major at the time, I knew I wanted to go somewhere with a lot of options of majors for me to choose from. After considering cost, financial aid, location and, of course, school colors... I decided on the U! To the right is a photo of me when I received my acceptance letter!

Being a crafty person, my friends and family have told me that interior design would be right up my alley. I've always had an interest in it, it's been my answer for years when I've been asked what my dream job is. However, last semester when I began at the U I was undecided in the College of Liberal Arts. During the first week of classes I went to my advisor and changed my major to Pre-Interior Design and transferred into the CDes. Ever since, I've been confident in my choice and major and am really enjoying taking classes related specifically to what I want to do!

Follow my and other students' stories and experiences at the U and CDes by using this shortcut: z.umn.edu/cdesblog for easy access to the blog site.

Megan
Interior Design

Cliches like 'bittersweet'...

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Cliches like 'bittersweet' are really the only way to describe the end of my blogging career for the College of Design. That's right folks, this is my last blog. It's been such a great time writing and taking photos to document my experience as an Interior Design student here at the U, but the end had to come some time... I'm not graduating for three more semesters yet, but as I come towards the end of my years in school, I am transitioning. In particular I'm becoming more involved at my internship which has been a great run so far. I'll definitely miss being a blogger and it was a hard decision, but it also creates a great opportunity for a 1st year Interior Design student named Megan. She'll be picking up the Interior Design blog starting the first week of classes (which is literally right around the corner!) Thanks very much for reading, subscribing, commenting, and connecting with me - I've genuinely loved every minute.

So long and good luck!

Ashley
interior design

Winter Break: Done and To Come

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Winter break so far has been lovely, and now that I'm reaching the halfway point I'm reflecting on everything I've gotten to do so far as well as thinking about what else I want to accomplish while I've got this free time on my hands.

Up until this point, I've been interning full time which has been incredibly rewarding and enriching. I've been able to get involved in more project work - some of which is local! (Can't wait to check out those openings sometime down the road.) I've also had time to spend time with old and new friends, pin on my Pinterest boards, and cook some tasty meals.

Going forward, I really want to spruce up my apartment with some cool DIY projects and just give the place a lift. I also want to work on my online portfolio and update the look and content of my resume. I foresee some cozy afternoons in coffee shops on the horizon...

What have you been up to over break? Anything interesting on your winter break to-do list? Let me know!

Ashley
interior design

Feels good to be done.

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diy-project-updated.jpgAnd just like that, fall semester 2013 is over. It was busy, crazy, fun, exciting, stressful, and full of so many experiences that are molding me into a one-day interior designer. It's fun to watch myself grow, change, and morph. I'm especially lucky because I can look back at my old blog posts to see the transformation.

Now that it's officially winter break for me, there are a few things on my plate. For starters, I'll be interning full time at Cuningham Group and I could not be more excited! I loved being there full time during the summer because I can really get involved in projects and I feel even more apart of the team. In addition to interning, I'll also take time to relax, cook more, do some cool DIY projects, and create a better study environment inside my apartment.

What plans do you have as the holidays approach?

Ashley
Interior Design

Hey finish line, is that you?

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I cannot believe the end of my semester is just a couple weeks away. Sometimes it feels like just yesterday that I walked into my first interior design class at the U of M, and here I am wrapping up the end of my 5th semester. Time flies.

In order to make sure I stay on top of things and finish the semester strong, I have a few study tactics to live by. Here's a quick breakdown...

1) Make lists. Personally, I utilize Todoist. It's a fantastic mobile app that lets you make lists and organize by class/project/etc. and prioritize each task. This is the first semester I've used it and I definitely notice a difference in my academic performance and time management.

2) Utilize your peers. These are folks you'll see for quite a few years. Make friends, support one another, and build a community so you can have fun when you're working together in the classroom.

3) Balance life with school/work. In other words, it's okay to have some fun! I make sure I have a healthy dose of fun in the mix which helps me stay happy.

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(This photo is from Cuningham Group's Creative Exhibition. I love interning there and the event was tons of fun!)

That's all for now!

Ashley
Interior Design

What's up Doc?

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construction docs.jpgIn my studio course (IDES 3606), we're making progress on construction docs that are due at the end of the semester. A lot of times, people think interior design is just about picking colors and making stuff look cool, but it is SO much more than that. Yes, there are fun elements when brainstorming designs and developing ideas, but once those solutions are determined, how are they built? Designers and Architects have to create construction documents that can communicate and articulate the intended design. Depending on the size of the project, these document sets can range in size from being around 10 sheets to 100 or more.

Each student in my studio is creating document sets based on their NEXT office design solutions. It's a great experience getting to see a project all the way from beginning to end and I look forward to completing my drawing set. It'll be a great portfolio piece to show that I'm a designer who also has technical capabilities.

Chat soon.

Ashley
Interior Design

The Perks of Technology

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Today was the big day! My Interior Design Studio VI (IDES 3606) peers and I presented our unique and individual design solutions for the Steelcase NEXT competition. Throughout this project I have learned SO MUCH about various softwares including Revit, InDesign, and Photoshop as well as file management sites such as Google Drive and Netfiles. Check out my renderings that I did in Revit and enhanced in Photoshop - I won't lie, I'm pretty impressed with myself!

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Between trial and error, help from peers, and online tutorials I was able to boost my finished product. These resources are always very accessible so it's just a matter of putting the time in to soak up the knowledge.

Let me know what you think!

Ashley
interior design

Sustainability can be cool!

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reclaimed materials.jpgSo here's a quick catch up on the Steelcase NEXT design competition...

My design solution is progressing and I'm really happy with how it's all coming together. A big focus of the competition is to incorporate sustainability in the finishes/materials/fixtures as well as the practices of those working in the office.

Nowadays when you hear sustainability, everyone goes "yeah yeah yeah..." because it's become a buzz word, but I promise you that sustainability is cool!

For my office design, some of the ways I've incorporated sustainability include using raw materials such as such as reclaimed wood, reclaimed brick, sealed concrete and exposed HVAC ceiling systems.

Sustainability can also be incorporated by having dishes stored on site so paper plate ware and plastic cutlery don't get used and tossed everyday.

I'll continue to keep you posted!

Ashley
interior design

What's NEXT?

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NEXT is a design competition organized by Steelcase, a manufacturer of office furniture. Our big semester project for Interior Design Studio VI is to design a new age office space for fictional company, "NEXT". This is an individual project that we've working on for the bulk of the semester - definitely a great way to get hands on design experience through the entire process. There are lots of super cool prizes and perks that come with winning this competition (including fame and glory, of course), so I'm working hard to come up with a successful design solution. It's been nice having the competition incorporated into coursework so that we have studio time in class for critique, etc.

I'll keep you posted as I progress!

Ashley
Interior Design

If I summed myself up in a paragraph...

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IMG_1030.JPGHi! My name's Ashley and I am a junior in the interior design program at the U. I am originally from Brooklyn Park and I chose the U of M because it's located in the heart of the Twin Cities. I stay very busy and in addition to being a student, I also intern at a local architecture firm, work for the college of design as an Events and Communications Office Assistant, and serve as the Vice President of the Interior Design Student Association. I often get asked, "How do you do it all?!", and the answer is I love being involved and I thrive off of a jam packed schedule. Somehow I also still manage to have fun! The photo is of me and my good friend Daveen adventuring in Uptown Minneapolis. I look forward to blogging this year and I hope you look forward to reading! Bookmark this link to and stay tuned!

Right Back At It

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Thumbnail image for IMG_3567 (1).jpgJust like that, summer is over and without missing a beat we're right back at it with the first day of classes among us. Every summer I get anxious as August nears its end because I feel like I've forgotten how to be a student, but every time the first day of school strikes in the beginning of September, I hit my stride again. I find that as I progress in my program, school days feel more like work days because our projects and topics of study become more realistic and reminiscent of the real world. Through my internship this summer I got a real good sense of the real design world so I've come to know what it looks like and I am recognizing it more and more in the curriculum.

This summer I worked full time as an Interior Design Intern at Cuningham Group, an architecture firm located in Minneapolis. It was a rewarding, eye opening, and lesson learning experience that I am so glad to have under my belt. The knowledge I took and will continue to take from that internship are directly applicable to life and school and I feel like I got a crash course on what my life could be. Throughout the summer I was able to work on several projects as well as familiarize myself with products, materials, and finishes through my work in their library. Internships are not just important, but quintessential for success and I'm happy to say I'll be continuing my internship with them into the school year. If you'd like to learn more about how I landed my internship, check out my blog post on it here.

I'm involved in a lot including Interior Design Student Association where I am the Vice President, Cuningham as an Intern, and the College of Design Student Services as an Events and Communications Office Assistant as well as a Blogger. As the semester goes on, I hope to keep you informed and updated on my coursework, internship, community involvement and life in general. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more!

x

Ashley Ochiagha
Interior Design

P.S. It was so fun meeting many of my readers throughout the summer at events like Sneak Preview! I hope to see you all in the future - don't be a stranger!

Woah! I feel like an adult!

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The weird part is I woke up one day and it just kind of happened. I woke up and just felt like an adult. Let Thursday, May 16th, 2013 go down in history.

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A huge part of this sudden adulthood comes from working full time at my internship with Cuningham Group. I wake up at 6:30am Monday-Friday and work until 5:00pm. I get an hour lunch break in the mix of things where I can do a variety of things including grabbing a bite, sitting outside in the St. Anthony Main or Northeast areas, running errands, or working through it if things at work are busy enough. It's a big adjustment to make in comparison to life as a college student, but I'm really loving it so far.

The biggest difference in working full time is that once you show up to work, you're going and going and going from 8:00am-12:00pm, then you take your break (an hour), and then you come back and you're going and going and going again until approximately 5:00pm. After that you go home and have a huge chunk of free time until the next day and you also normally have a weekend that includes little to nothing about work, just emails here and there. Life as a college student goes all day, but it has lots of ups and downs mixed in. You go to class, then have a break to cruise BuzzFeed on your laptop, then you hop on the bus and head to your next class, then maybe you meet with your group about a new project that was just assigned, then you go home and watch some quality television followed by a coffee shop session to plow through your homework.

Both lifestyles are cool for different reasons, but having some variety in the summer months by actually having a set schedule of the things I must do is really nice. Other things that have me feeling like an adult include recently turning 21, applying for my first credit card, signing up for a gym membership, considering 401k options and starting auto-payments for my student loan debt (the last two with the help of my boyfriend who happens to be a business student).

Growing up is hard at times, but I won't lie and say it isn't fun too!

Ashley Ochiagha
Interior Design

RED FASHION SHOW

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935307_10151366712212187_836550953_n.jpgThis past weekend I made my big debut as a model! It was a super exciting experience and I hate a lot of fun.

I was modeling for RED: [Super] High Fashion, a fashion show put together by a group on campus called Fashion & Business, or FAB. They work hard every year to create a theme and concept for their annual fashion show. From there they recruit apparel designers (many of them are students from the College of Design). The designers find their models and create their looks, then after all of the fancy show production details are set, it's time for the runway! This year each designer created three looks: one superhero, one villain, and "the cape". It was really cool seing how every designer had a different take on the three looks and the end results were so impressive.

I love being in the College of Design because I have met so many amazing people from various majors. Because we're such a tight knit community, I'm friends with students from all of the different majors. That's how I met Tess Ross, the designer I modeled for and if I hadn't met her, I probably wouldn't have had the opportunity to model in a fashion show.

It was such an awesome rush of endorphins and I really loved the whole experience. Hopefully I'll be able to model again sometime!

Until the next one,

Ashley
Interior Design

Grants and Giving Back

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Over the past two weeks, my Interior Design Lighting Codes & Safety class worked on a project where we designed a mobile television set for a TV show locally filmed called Imprisoned Show. The show's host, Bukola Oriola, is a survivor of human trafficking and she interviews relevant guests in each episode. In addition to interviews, she hopes to expand the topics of her show to include international cooking segments and outdoor filming among other things. Because the show is revving up to take on more topics in addition to being produced more frequently, they needed a new set design which is where my class came in.

379821_10151584968051113_1393484004_n.jpgMy professor, Dr. Abimbola Asojo, received a Fairchild Topical Issues Grant which is why this project will be able to go from an idea to a reality. Thanks to grants like this, amazing things can be produced within our community. Because of the work my class put in and the Fairchild Topical Issues Grant, Bukola and her team will now have the designs and funding to get an awesome mobile set which will allow them to enhance and improve Imprisoned Show.

It was hard designing a mobile set, but such a huge learning opportunity! We visited the TV studio she currently films at located in Blaine, MN. There, we learned some of the basics about lighting a TV set. Some of the things we had to consider were cost and global flattering of a wide variety of skin tones. We did photometric calculations to determine the amount of lighting and we research to figure out different equipment we would need.

The most rewarding part of the experience was when we Bukola and some of her team visited our class to see the proposed design solution presentations. (see photo)

If you'd like to learn more about her show and how you can make a difference, please visit the Imprisoned Show Facebook page and "like" it so you can stay up to date with their progress. I should also mention that Imprisoned Show has a fundraiser coming up in June! More information about that can also be found on the facebook page.

It's great that interior design can contribute to such a wide variety of arenas. I never knew I might work on a TV set design for a show about human trafficking, but the fact that I can make an impact in my own special way for a really great cause warms my heart and makes me excited for future opportunities to help!

Until the next one,

Ashley
Interior Design

I GOT AN INTERNSHIP!

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eda34829410d384cc518d827bbeba9ab.jpgI haven't mentioned anything about this in earlier posts because it was all so tentative, but now that I've officially had my first day interning, I feel like I can tell you that I was recently hired as an Interior Design intern at Cuningham Group. I cannot begin to express my excitement and overall happiness.

Some of you might wonder how I landed an internship in the first place. Good question. The answer is NETWORKING. You've heard it before and you'll hear it again - it's all about who you know. The power of networking is incredible and it got me an internship at a dream firm.

It all started back in February... I attended an NEWH Speed Mentoring event where I was able to cycle around to different tables and chat with designers and sales representatives for a little less than 10 minutes each. In that short period of time I was able to leave a lasting impression. Because of that impression, about a month later I got an email letting me know Cuningham was in need of an intern ASAP. I sent over my resume and online portfolio and I guess you could say the rest is history because I interviewed and got the job.

I am eager to see what the future has in store with me, but I am so happy and excited for the way things are lining up. I'll try to keep you guys posted about my internship experience!

Until the next one,

Ashley
Interior Design

Let's Build Stuff!

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Today in my interior design studio, we focused on concept development for our current museum design projects. Concept development process work can include coming up with concept words, sketches and even 3-D models. It's fun to think in a conceptual, abstracted way and really break through to a new way of brainstorming.

IMG_2368.jpgIn the photos I've included you can see a lot of group work happening. Our museum project is broken up through the class so each group (made of 3 or 4 students) will design their own museum. Group work is always appreciated during school because it is very rare that you will work on projects alone once you are at a design firm. Being able to learn the skills necessary to successfully work in a group now are essential for thriving as a professional. Some of these traits include compromise, communication and being able to take in criticism.

So far I've really enjoyed working in my group! I'm working with Sean and Ashley and we are gelling really well together so far. We utilize technology resources like Google Drive and Facebook so even when we aren't face to face we are able to continue the design process and share our ideas with each other. Our generation is so lucky because we have so many ways to communicate with one another outside of class and it really shows in the finished product because every element of the design solution is especially well thought out.

We've still got some work to do before the end, but I'll keep you posted as we work along!

Until the next one,

Ashley O.
Interior Design

Spring Cleaning!

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Spring-Cleaning.jpgIt's April 8th today and even though the weather isn't shining quite like spring, that doesn't mean I can't get a jump on spring cleaning. Spring cleaning falls into a lot of different sectors of my life. It's anything from my closet and wardrobe to the files on my computer. For me, it's nice to take a break about mid-semester to tidy up my life a little bit since things can get hectic from time to time.

Last night for instance, I cleaned through my closet and dresser to start pulling out my warm weather threads and to start stowing away my heavy duty sweaters and hoodies. It's gotta warm up sometime soon so I'm making sure I'll be ready when it does! I also sorted piles of clothing I would like to part with and could potentially sell at consignment shops like Buffalo Exchange and Plato's Closet or clothing that would be good to donate to places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army.

Recently I also bought a new computer and I have been working to transfer over my data and organize it in a neat and practical manner. As a design student, I have a lot of large and important files on my computer and organizing those is key to my efficiency. Since I'm also working on my portfolio and my website, archiving past projects has become essential and adds to why organizing my computer is so crucial.

Besides those major projects, I'm also doing basic things like cleaning out my office space in Student Services, my locker at school, and my car. If I do a little each day, I think I can be done by the end of the weekend. Wish me luck!

Ashley
Interior Design

Research can be fun too!

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WAM.jpgWhen most people think of research, they tend to cringe. To be honest though, I think that's just because they don't know how much fun research can be! In my Interior Design Studio IV and my Lighting Design, Codes and Safety courses, we have been introduced to the concept of precedent studies. A precedent study is basically initial research on a topic to help you develop a solution for a current project. In this case, we are doing precedent studies on existing museums to help us better learn about what works and does not work for museum design, the crucial elements that must be included, and the newest innovations.

My studio group of three students including myself decided to design a museum that would house various types of sculpture. We are required to do three precedent studies (one in person and two online) so we split them up amongst ourselves. I took the in person study and visited the Weisman Art Museum on campus. This museum was perfect for our initial study because it housing a dynamic collection of sculpture ranging in size and medium.

While at the museum, I was able to interview staff and snap a number of photos. The next step will be to organize and depict my findings in a informative report.

Research like this is fun because it is directly applicable to a project I am currently working on. It's also always fun checking out museums and new exhibits, so I really can't complain about a homework assignment like that!

Until the next one,

Ashley O.
Interior Design

Need a Study Option?

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When crunch time rolls around, it's crucial that I have the right place to hit the books and get down to business. For me, the location really depends upon my mood. What's great about the U of M campus is that there is a dynamic blend of study spaces fit for everyone and every mood.

url.jpegLibraries
When I need peace and quiet I always head to Walter Library. It's located on the East Bank of the U and is fairly central because Coffman and Dinkytown are nearby. Usually, I'll plan to grab dinner somewhere and make sure I'm fueled and ready to work hard. It's nice because Walter also offers tutoring so if I ever get hung up on my homework I always have a place to go for help.

Coffee Shops
Coffee shops are another great option when I want to get a lot of work done but in a lighter, more casual way. I really enjoy changing it up so I frequent many different coffee shops in the area. Some of my favorites include Espresso Royale, Purple Onion, Dunn Bros, and Caribou. Studying in a coffee shop is nice because you can invite a friend or a few and make it a social experience that is also productive. You also can't go wrong when you've got a constant source for fresh brewed coffee and yummy pastries.

Studio
As a design student, the studio is near and dear to my heart. When I have a big project, the studio is the perfect place to go to spread out and jump in. It's great for group collaboration, but it's also nice when you are working individually because you have a lot of space to get focused and really run wild with your ideas. I typically head over to McNeal Hall because the 4th floor is like interior design home base. I find that coming to work in a place where my classes are held helps me to keep focused.

In addition to the places I highlighted, there are more study spaces on campus including the student unions, classrooms, and outside when the weather permits! Leave a comment and let me know where you like to study.

Until the next,
Ashley
Interior Design

Spring Break: A Good Time to Get Stuff Done

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So maybe I'm not going on that dream vacation over spring break to the Bahamas that I've ben planning since I was 10 years old... but I am staying in the beautiful (and snowy) Minneapolis for break. With all this free time on my hands, sure I could nap, Netflix, and not do nothing at all, but instead I want to do something I'll be proud of this break. I vow to be productive.

website clip.jpgIt's officially day one, and I have definitely stuck to my goals of productivity. This morning I had an informational interview at 8:00am with a professional from a local firm. After that I had another meeting with Frederic MacDonald, the Director of MCAE (Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence). After my meeting with Frederic, I went in to work at the Student Services office for a little over 5 hours in preparation for the Architecture Networking + Portfolio event, among other things. Now I'm sitting at Espresso Royale, a coffee shop in Dinkytown, and I'm working on my online portfolio.

It's been nice being productive because I have some flexibility and variety from my usual class schedule. Although I don't have to, I still make sure to get up early in the AM and not waste away my days.

Other goals for break I have include:
- working on my resume
- writing a paper for my Art History class
- updating my LinkedIn account
- etc.

We'll see how I do, but wish my luck! I'll keep you guys posted in next week's blog.

Ashley
Interior Design

Bridge Design Project

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I got some exciting news in my Lighting course today - new project! We had representatives from LaCrosse, Wisconsin come in today to talk to us about the bridge project we will be working on.

Basically, the city of LaCrosse is looking to add lighting elements to an existing bridge in the Riverside Park area. This bridge is a major focal point of the area and they are hoping to heighten it's relevance and overall presence. The representatives were very passionate about the experience they wanted the bridge to create and enhance.

highway-bridge.jpeg

It's fun getting a project that applies the skill set I have acquired through my interior design education thus far in a new, interesting way. I never thought in a million years I'd be designing the lighting plan for a bridge, but I can't wait to get started!

What's even cooler about this assignment is that if they like our designs, there's a very high chance they will be implemented. How awesome would it be to visit a bridge that had your design incorporated in it? That thought serves as further motivation to really push myself on this project.

I'll keep you all posted once I get a chance to start sketching and researching.

Until the next,

Ashley
Interior Design

Presentation Day!

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Ashley Ochiagha Lighting Prez.jpg
So it's finally the big day - we are presenting our lighting fixtures to the client! Since they are located in Dallas, Texas, we skyped the clients in and presented in front of the web cam as well as our class. We were also lucky enough to have Barry Kudrowitz, a product design faculty here at the university.

In addition to the presentation board I am posting, we also submitted our actual built fixtures and technical drawings. It's nice that we got to be creative, hands on, and technical all in one project. I feel that I really enhanced my revit skills through this project and I also had a lot of fun working in the wood shop to construct my fixture.

Working in product design is pretty high on my list post graduation, so I was really happy that a project like this was incorporated into the curriculum. I'm hoping before I graduate I'll have time to take a product design class or two to further supplement my interior design education.

Until the next one guys,

Ashley
Interior Design

Groovy Stuff

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photo.jpegOver the past few weeks, my Lighting class has been working on designing a lighting fixture. What's especially cool about this project is that we are collaborating with a company names Groovy Stuff located in Dallas, Texas. Essentially, they are our client and we are designing lighting fixtures that fit their look, feel, and style while incorporating our own point of view. Each student has been working on multiple prototypes for the project and we have been using Facebook to communicate with each other, our professor (Dr. Asojo), and the guys over at Groovy Stuff (Chris and Lee).

photo-1.jpegThe first stage in this project was sketching and sketching and sketching to come up with multiple prototypes and options for the company to choose from. We uploaded our sketches to the Facebook group we all share and we were able to recieve feedback. From there, the design process really took off because after each bit of feedback, changes would be made, new ideas would be born, and another set of sketches would be uploaded. Over the course of time, I came to a point where I was really happy with my design. I was able to share my sketches once again and explain my idea from a conceptual and functional standpoint. The clients seemed to really like my idea, so I decided to run with it!

Yesterday, our class met in Rapson Hall so we would have access to the wood shop and technology labs. I found my materials (lots of free, scrap wood!) and started talking with the employees of the wood shop to better understand the logistics of my lighting fixture.

So far, I have built a frame and stained it which you can see here. Maybe if I make more progress I'll do an additional post about it! Let me know if you guys would like that :)

Until the next one,

Ashley
Interior Design

UROP: Giving Back to the Community

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My professor Dr. Asojo and two 3rd year interior design students, Carol Erklouts and Tawana Terrell recently completed a UROP project. UROP stands for Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. It is a program that allows undergraduate students to conduct research, learn independently, gain funding and be compensated for work. It might sound scary or intimidating, but it's actually fairly easy to set up. You just need to submit a propsal and find a faculty mentor. If you'd like to learn more about how to get started, check out this link.

For Dr. Asojo, Carol, and Tawana's UROP project, they worked on the interior and lighting design of a science lab for a K-8 school, St. John the Baptist Catholic School in New Brighton, MN. They began by conducting initial research which quickly became more and more indepth as they learned more about what the space would require for optimal functionality. Once the data was collected, the design process of a new and improved science lab began.

1.jpegThey attended a fundraising event that the school hosted and presented their design solution early in February. The design solution was so compelling, that it helped to secure funds so the project could go from a plan to a reality.

When I think about the impact interior designers have on the community, it really solidifies how important the profession is. This UROP project inspires me and I hope to conduct a project of my own this summer or in the Fall 2013 semester.

Oh yeah! And before I forget - if you are an admitted CDes freshman for Fall 2013, I hope to see you at the Dean's Reception this Saturday! I will be there with many other bloggers, faculty, professionals, and current students. If you have any questions, please let me know and I'd be happy to find you answers! You can also directly get in touch with Lori Swenson at 612-624-6250 or lgilbert@umn.edu.

Until the next one,

Ashley O.
Interior Design

Projects on projects on projects

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Thumbnail image for photo-6.jpegSo in my previous blog posts, I've talked a lot about the IEEE Student Lounge redesign project we've been working on in studio. We finally presented last Thursday and it feels so good! As I move into the second semester of my second year, one thing I've noticed is how much the pace picks up for individual projects. At first, it was kind of scary thinking about doing an entire project in 3 weeks, but now that I've done it, I can honestly say I have no complaints. Thumbnail image for photo-5.jpegIt is a really rewarding experience to be able to work through the design process and go through each stage and come to an awesome end result in a quick amount of time. In past semesters, I would have had 2 months for a project that I am now able to complete in 3 weeks. It really goes to show how much I've grown, progressed, and learned in the interior design program. It felt amazing being able to present a project I was really proud of to a real life client. From here, the next steps are for the clients to review each individual design solution from my peers and I and decide on a solution or elements of multiple solutions they like. Once that's done, they are actually going to implement the design that they like into their student lounge. It's really cool to think that something I created could become a real life thing! Cross your fingers for me.

Ashley O.
Interior Design

Student Lounge Redesign!

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Hi Guys! Hope all is well.

photo-2.jpegSo for this week I wanted to give you guys a little peek at what I'm working on in my Interior Design Studio. I'm not sure if I told you guys, but we got a really awesome assignment where we are redesigning a student lounge located on the East Bank of the U of M. It's an Engineering building and the student lounge is dedicated to an engineering organization called Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE for short. During the first week of classes, our studio sections went to the student lounge to assess the current state of the space and interview the client. It was really interesting getting to actually go and speak with students who use the space to see what they would need out of a proposed design solution. We took measurements, snapped photos, and jotted plenty of notes.

After this initial meeting, the next step was to organize thoughts and start brainstorming for concepts and concept images. Concepts are important in design because they help to guide your design process from schematics, to preliminaries, to finals. My concept words were "structured", "connected", "fresh", and "progressive". The concept images help to illustrate what the words selected mean.

After working on conceptual stuff, the next step was to move into space planing and preliminary floor plans. After we got things sketched and modeled, we presented our initial thoughts, concepts, and plans to the client. My next step is to use the feedback I have received to improve my space plan. After that, I'll finalize products, color themes, and other little details.

I'll be sure to keep you all posted!

Ashley O.
Interior Design.

I'm going digital!

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I feel like every time I start a new semester, I try out a new means of organization for my classes. In the past, I've tried physically taking notes in individual notebooks and keeping one binder just to name a couple of the things. This semester though, I'm trying out using my laptop. I'll admit, I've done this in the past, but this time I've got a really good feeling about it.


photo-1.jpgFor starters, computers appeal to me because I can easily reference my notes and everything is legible... I have spell check, and I can easily access notes from course websites to supplement my lectures and study sessions. It's kind of like a magic notebook/binder/planner/computer all wrapped up into my handy (and lightweight) laptop. Since I use a lot of electronic organization as it is, it's kind of nice that I'm always on my computer and always in touch with everything I need. I use Google Calender like it's my religion, I'm obsessed with my email, and obviously I love blogging. By having my personal computer on me at all times, I always have everything handy and I am always able to be productive. Studio IV and my Lighting Design and Safety classes both have a lot of group projects in store for us this semester, and since many other students use Google Calender, it makes it really easy to set up meetings and communicate.


So far, I'm also really liking my laptop for taking notes during lectures. I used to be big on handwritten notes because it gets ingrained in my brain initially better, but I find I can take more thorough notes via my laptop and from there I usually make handwritten flash cards with the important content.


I'll keep you posted on how this digital method goes, but I sure can say I like it so far! How do you guys like taking your notes? Leave a comment below!


Until next time,
Ashley O.
Interior Design

First Day, Hooray!

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photo.JPGHey guys! So today is the first day of the spring semester. I'm doing this blog post a little different by giving you little updates as my day goes along. Here we go!

7:20AM - Man oh man, can you say early morning? I'm sure I'll get used to it, but it sure has been awhile. I'm just waiting for my english muffin to pop out of the toaster, then me, my roommate Lauren, and our friend Marie are heading to the campus connector bus stop to go to our first classes of the day on the West Bank.

10:06AM - Stopped by Coffman to mail a few things I sold on Amazon. One of the things was an old textbook I found in my room from freshman year. Selling stuff via Amazon, the UMN textbook exchange facebook page, or the Bookstore on campus are easy ways to earn a couple of extra bucks as a college student and I highly recommend it! I also ran into my friend and co-worker, Drew, so now we're sitting and prepping for our next classes.

11:28AM - On my way to meet my friend Tina in the St. Paul Student Center. She's a good friend who I used to work with back in the day and she's applying to a graduate program here at the U. I'm so excited to hear about what she's been up to and how the process is going! Afterwards I've got Interior Design Studio.

1:17PM - Just got out of studio, and early too! Gotta love the first couple days of class, right? It was really nice getting to see everyone from last semester and I am really excited to get working again! Today we got our first project of the semester. We'll be redesigning a study space located on campus. It's especially cool because on Thursday we'll be touring the space and interviewing the client and once we're done with our solutions, we get to present them not only to our class and professor, but the real life client. From there if they like someone's project, it might just happen for real.

2:48PM - Whew! Home at last, for now that is. It's been a really good day and I have zero complaints. In a little bit I'm gunna meet up with my friend Hilary so we can grab a slice at Mesa. After that I'll head home, relax, and prep for tomorrow.


So in sum, that's a breakdown of how my day went! I hope you guys enjoyed and I'll talk to you next week! :)

Oh yeah, and before I forget - the Dean's Reception is coming up! It's an event for newly admitted College of Design students to come and see the campus, meet current students (including many of the CDes bloggers), have some lunch, and learn more about what the College of Design and U of M have to offer. I'll be there and it'd be awesome to meet some of my readers in person, so I hope to see you there!

Until the next one,
Ashley O.
Interior Design

Wait, what?

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Yeah, so that pretty much sums up my reaction to the realization that school resumes in less than a week. It is absolutely crazy how fast break flew by! But then again, doesn't it always? After almost an entire month off from school, I suppose it probably is about time to get back in there for the spring semester.

In order to prepare for the upcoming semester, I've been keeping busy these past few days. One of the major things that I have been working the hardest at is getting organized. Anytime I'm starting something new, and especially something like a semester, I feel like one of the most important things I can do is organize the heck out of my life. Of course, there's the usual stuff like getting your folders, supplies, and textbooks, etc., but other priorities for me include deep-cleaning my room, sorting through my closet for items I want to donate or sell (at places like Buffalo Exchange, Everyday People, etc.), cleaning through and updating my laptop. Maybe some of my to-dos seem irrelevant to the beginning of a new semester, but I honestly feel like a better person after doing those things and it helps bring good vibes to the new semester so I say it's 100% to do with it.

g1GEB.jpgI'm mostly done with everything I want to take care of before the semester begins, but I do have a few of the things on my immediate to-do list. For instance, I need to look into partioning my Macbook Pro so it can run Windows 7 (so I can ultimately use software like Revit and Autocad on my mac). I also need to do a huge grocery store haul so I can have breakfast every morning, pack a lunch and maybe a snack, and cook tasty (and healthy) dinners.

I'm nervous, excited, anxious, and just about ready for the new semester to begin. I can't wait to have a solid routine again and I might regret saying this later... but I think I miss having homework, guys. Wish me luck for the new semester and I'm wishing it back your way!

Until the next one,
Ashley O.

How to Prepare for an Informational

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Informational-Interview.jpegAlright guys, I'm going to break this down for you, but don't be scared because I promise, it is SUPER easy. And before I jump into that, I'll give you an itsy bitsy back story as to what's got my mind on Informational Interviews...

I've been thinking about informationals for just about all of winter break. Now that the holidays are officially over, people are back in their offices and I am ready to get some face (or phone) time with professionals out there in the industry. Specifically, I have an informational coming up with a professional working at a local architecture firm that also has a hand in interior design. I should also mention that I got connected with her through a different informational I did back in October. There's a theme with informational interviews -- they get you connected. The things you learn supplement the things you learn in a classroom and then go beyond.

So about those steps...

1) ASK!
When it comes to informational interviews, the first thing you need to know is that they won't find you, you need to find them (in the begining at least). You need to be active and avid. There are plenty of professionals out there in any industry willing to meet for informational interviews, but your job is to stand out because there are also plenty of students and recent grads asking for them. Usually, ways of asking can include following up via email if you meet a professional at an event (where you cleverly asked for a business card), asking your career center or professors, or checking out LinkedIn. If you have firms that stand out to you, feel free to email someone working there and ask who you should get in touch with. Ultimately, asking won't hurt, the worst thing that will happen is a person won't respond. You know what you do from there? You move on and ask someone else. Maybe in a few weeks or month you can try again with that other person.

2) RESEARCH
Once you land your interview (and you will), do some reasearch! Check out the firm's website, look them up on LinkedIn, see if anything noteable pops up when you Google them. Make sure that when you go in, you know some things about the person or the firm that the person works for. You don't need to have all the answerers (that's why this is an interview), but it's nice to have some info you can springboard from. The rest will come when you start asking your questions.

3) PREPARE
Think about what you want to ask and talk about. Is there specific information you would like to know about that person, a project they worked on, or the industry in general? Is there any advice you're dying to get? Jot it all down, or better yet, type it all up and print a neat "cheat sheet" of questions and topics. This is good because even when your interviewer sees this, it just shows them that you are well prepared, organized, and that you respect their time. Another few things to think about in the preparation stage include your outfit and transportation. Usually you'll go buisness casual for something like this and you can check out Metro Transit if your interview is in the city and you need to take the bus.

4) BE AWESOME
Yup guys, I mean it. The last step is to be awesome. Go into that interview, chit chat, ask your questions, and show them you're a great person. Now I mean this subtly because the purpose of this interview is not to sell yourself, but rather to learn about them. But you are spending time with them and they are spending time with you so make a good impression because these days who you know can bring you a long way.

So I know that was a lot, but if you have questions, leave comments! I promise I'm here to help. And if this was helpful, bookmark this post.

Until the next,
Ashley
Interior Design

Winter Break Travels

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So it's winter break and for the most park, my agenda is relaxing and working. The one other thing I've been planning for a little while is a trip to Chicago which I recently came photo.jpegback from. It was a great time and a really fun adventure! We left on December 29th and stayed until January 1st. It was pretty awesome getting to do something new for New Year's this year. While we were there we tried some pretty interesting foods at various restaurants, toured the loop area downtown, and visited my aunt who lives just outside of the city.

Now that I'm back from my little vacation, there's a few more things on my agenda before school resumes in a few weeks. Some of the things I hope to accomplish include refining and updating my LinkedIn account, searching for summer internships, tweaking my resume, working at my part time job, and reading leisurely. I also want to keep working on my sketching and rendering from my interior design studio. I think over long breaks from school it's important to have balance between fun and productivity (and when possible, it's nice to combine the two). For instance, right now I'm hanging out at a new coffe shop called Publika in Dinkytown as I write this.

I'll keep you posted on what life looks like next week, but until then stay well!

Ashley
Interior Design

Almost done, almost done

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SadPencil_FinalsWeek.jpeg
And MAN OH MAN, I seriously cannot wait. It's been a good semester, but I'm ready to put a lid on it and officially start my winter break. Right now, the only thing left on my plate is my Textile Analysis lecture final exam on Wednesday at 8am (bright and early). I've been studying my butt off, and I'm feeling pretty good about it. I've still got a whole day left to fully prepare, so I'm really glad that I spaced out my studying over the span of a few days.

Some of the things I'm excited to do over break include applying for scholarships and internships. As appealing as a totally lazy bum winter break might be, I think productivity is even more appealing and it will ultimately pay off in the long run. I am hoping to have a full time internship this summer, and that isn't going to find itself. I have a place in mind, so that's step one, but I still need to work on my resume, cover letter, and application materials. I have some rough drafts, so on Wednesday sometime after my final I plan on heading over to Career and Internship Services to get everything looked at and critiqued. Having a resource like that which is so easily accessibly is honestly priceless (and actually, it's free guys). It's always a good idea to have an extra set of eyes or two to look at stuff like that, so I can't wait to get some feedback.

As for scholarships, I'll be hunting throughout the University website and beyond. There was also an email that went out about the 2013 President's Student Leadership and Service Awards. It could be a long shot, but I intend on applying for this since I do have leadership experience that I've acquired over the past few years. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes!

One other thing I'm really looking forward to over break is my trip to Chicago coming up. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and blog about it so stay tuned! :)

Until the next,
Ashley O.
Interior Design

You're invited!

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Here's a question: Did you know you can come the University of Minnesota and get a customized College of Design tour where you get to see resources, equipment, and student work up close and personal? If you did know this, then great! If you did not know this, don't fret because tours are offered almost every Friday and will resume in the new semester beginning January 25th. If you're wondering who your tour guide would be... the answer is probably me! I give tours every Friday to students who are interested in Interior Design, Apparel Design, Graphic Design, Housing Studies, and Retail Merchandising. There's another awesome tour guide dedicated to Architecture and Landscape Design & Planning over in Rapson Hall (the other design building).

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These tours are a great way to learn more about programs you are interested in as well as get a sense of what the campuses are like. It's nice because you see a dorm, get an info session, then get to view the academic side of things. Some of the highlights include seeing studio spaces for various majors, getting an inside peek at resources available, and the services such as Student Services or Career and Internship Services. By learning about what the College of Design has to offer while you are a prospective student, it really gives you an advantage once you come here because you already know so much.


If you're interested in setting up a tour, it's really easy! Just click here for more info.

Hope to see you on a tour sometime! :)

Ashley
Interior Design

Wait. You designed that??

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When people attempt to define interior design, there are always mixed messages (some on par and others completely off). For instance, some people don't realize that interior design is NOT interior decorating and some people think it's just about throw pillows and paint colors. It's more than what the TV shows say and the fact of the matter is simple: interior design is so much more. It is about creating interior spaces that will garner optimal productivity from those who inhibit it. It is about providing comfort and safety. And you know what else? It's about hard work. Some would compare the term "interior design" to "interior architecture", and to be honest, I'd say they're close if not one in the same. Now technically, a graduate of an interior design program cannot call themselves an architect, but believe me when I say that the skill set is all there.

photo.jpegAnd speaking off skill sets, I want to talk about a project I completed today for my interior design studio course (IDES 2603). As I may have mentioned in a previous post, our big final project for studio is designing a retail space. Along with this project, one of the tasks was to design a custom casegood. If you are unfamiliar with what a casegood is, it is basically a piece of furniture that doubles as storage (think cabinets, dressers, etc). When I started in the interior design program, it never even crossed my mind that I would ever be designing a piece of furniture. It was such a cool assignment because we were able to create the perfect casegood based on our retail space. This casegood fit individual concepts and moods of the space and added a unique touch to the space because it we didn't have to use standard furniture.

The interior program here is great because it is thorough. They teach you everything you need to know and everything you would dream of knowing. I am learning so many things that will be applicable to my career as an interior designer one day. I remember back in Elementary School or Junior High when kids (me included) would ask, "when are we ever gunna use that??". It's really nice to know that I don't need to wonder that anymore.


Until the next,

Ashley
Interior Design

The Benefits of Networking

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If you've never heard of networking, then listen to me closely when I tell you IT'S IMPORTANT. In a nutshell, networking is connecting with others. Specifically, I'm talking about the importance of networking with people, professionals, students, etc. in the design world and within your chosen discipline. There's probably a million and one reasons why networking is crucial these days, but for our purposes now, I'll just break down a one or two below...

Picture3.jpeg+ Would you like to increase job guarantee after graduation? I'm assuming your answer is yes, right? Well then hop to it and get out there meeting people. The more connections you make during your time in college, the easier it will be to utilize those connections when you are job (and even internship) searching. Like the old saying goes, "it's all about who you know..."

+ Would you like to learn how to be professional? Again, I bet you do. (And if you already think you're a pro, then practice never hurts.) Networking with others gives you the opportunity to conduct yourself as the young professional that you are because you are interacting with professionals who have made it in the industry. By getting direct face time, you can really learn a lot about what to do and what not to do in regards to professionalism. And if you're worried, you can always prepare for your first few networking opportunities by checking out the Career & Internship Services office. It's an awesome resource right in McNeal Hall, and they can help you get ready to shine.

Now that you know WHY networking is so important, the next thing you're probably wondering is HOW. And let me tell you, it's a lot easier than you think. First off, there's lots of events the the College of Design's College to Career Program hosts that bring professionals right to campus and other events that bus students out to design firms (FOR FREE). When you meet a professional that strikes you as interesting and you'd like to form a connection, it's usually as easy as introducing yourself, asking for a business card, and following up via email. Just like that, you've made a professional connection. And it's always good to stay up on things like linkedin where you can easily maintain these connections. (Check out the blog post about it!)

I know that may be a lot of info up there, but if you have questions, don't hesitate to lave questions in the comments!

Until the next one,

Ashley
Interior Design

Ready, Set, Go!

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As I've transitioned into the second half of the semester, I have found myself at the starting line of final projects and the race to the end is about to begin. I've got plenty to keep me busy from now until the end of the semester, but the thing I must remember is not to burn out. When this part of the semester comes up, some people start to panic, but it is really important to take a step back and be mindful of endurance and pacing yourself if you want to succeed. I mean, when you think about it, it's a lot like running a race. You have an end goal (the finish line) in mind, and you need to get there quickly and efficiently without getting overwhelmed with the distance you will travel.

.jpgRight now, the biggest thing on my plate is my final project for my Interior Design Studio. We are designing a retail space from the ground up. Everything from the concept of the space to the client, floor plan and finishes (as well as many other things) will be completely up to us as individual designers. It's so exciting because we each have total control over what our store will become. It will be a lot of work, but I cannot wait to see the end result. Imagining that is what will keep me going through the duration of this project!

In my other classes, I also have some pretty big assignments. To be honest, I view these assignments as hurdles in the race (and I don't mean that in a bad way). My final studio project is the race that will consume the majority of my focus, but if I want to come out on top, I can't lose sight of the hurdles along the way.

I've included a picture of my most recent to-do list. This is the way I stay on top of things as I make my way through this metaphoric race to the end of the semester. I find that keeping track of everything I have on my plate in an organized way is the greatest tool I can utilize as I plow through my workload.

Until next time!

Ashley O.
Interior Design

NO SPEND NOVEMBER

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This November I'm making some major changes, and I really really mean it this time. As the school year began and progressed from month to month, a slippery slope of spending threatened my wallet and my bank account. I was buying too many snacks, taking too many trips to the vending machine, shopping way too much, and finding myself going through drive thru after drive thru. Needless to say, this has been incredibly detrimental from a financial standpoint. With the holidays around the corner, I cannot afford to be broke. I want to buy presents for my loved ones and I'm planning a trip to Chicago; these things won't pay for themselves!

no-money-300x300.jpegThe rules of No Spend November are pretty simple. I'm only allowed to spend money on the two G's, gas and groceries. Outside of that, I honestly do not foresee a valid "need" to spend money on anything else. Of course there could be emergencies or things like that, and of course that's allowed, but I'm gunna try my absolute best to stick to the two G's and make things go according to plan.

Another thing I plan on checking out is the financial advising offered my the folks over at Live Like a Student (Now So You Don't Have to Later). In addition to financial advising, they offer a monthly newsletter with money tips and a website with more helpful resources.

Some friends of mine have joined me in No Spend November, will you?

Ashley O.
Interior Design

P.S. Tomorrow is election day, so you better be voting! If you need to find your polling place, click here.

Staying Safe When You're Staying Out Late

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As project season approaches, I feel like I've got a million things to do. I mean, yeah it's a lot to think about sometimes, but I also know its manageable with proper time management and good organization habits.

41813_122168997820897_7204_n.jpegRight now I've got a group assignment, an individual assignment, and an individual project in my studio class. Personally, along with practicing smart time management strategies, I also need to be in the right locations to take care of business. One of the places I really like working is the studio after hours. I enjoy being there with minimal distractions and plowing through my to do lists. I also enjoy going to the library or coffee shops in the Dinkytown and Stadium Village areas when I need to do a lot of reading or if I'm writing a paper. Sometimes I'm hard at work for hours and hours and suddenly it's nightfall. I know sometimes I get uneasy about walking home after dark, but luckily the U has a lot or great safety programs to make sure it keeps its occupants safe. goldy_white.gifThere's a 24/7 campus escort service (624-WALK) that's free and available across campus. They meet you wherever you are and walk you to the destination you specify. There's also the Gopher Chauffeur program where you can get picked up an dropped off where you need to go on the weekends.

It's really awesome that programs like this exist because I never have to worry and I know I always have a safe way of getting home. So much for that excuse when you're trying to procrastinate you homework, right? ;)

Til the next,
Ashley O.
Interior Design

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