March 2010 Archives

Jobs Can Come From Anywhere. . .

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On March 13, I participated in the annual College of Design Dean's Reception an event intended to welcome back the students and parents who have applied and been accepted to the U of M, and to offer additional information about the University from Onestop, academic advisors, faculty, and students. This was my third Dean's Reception, so I like to think of myself knowledgeable when talking to students and parents about the College.

This year was a unique experience for me. I generally have a great time speaking with students and their parents, giving my background as a transfer student, and providing information as to why the U of M is a fantastic choice.

This year, however, I was approached by a mother and her daughter who were interested in the program. Ironically, their two colleges of choice were Arizona State University (where I attended previously), and the U of M. They picked my brain for differences and similarities between the two, and I provided the knowledge that I had from both of my experiences.

During my conversation with them, I provided my professional portfolio to browse, along with my laptop and website to show. Karen, the mother, asked me to flip through my website and tell her about it. As I was doing so she became more impressed, which shocked me a little bit.

Suddenly, I saw some excitement fall across her face as she pulled out a business card. She explained she is a realtor in Arizona and is trying to sell a lovely home set upon a mountain. . . for the small price of six million dollars. Her struggle however, was marketing the property efficiently and effectively.

Before I knew it I was being asked to produce a booklet of photographs from a professional photographer, which she already had, and a website like mine to market the property. She asked me to give her a quote for my services, something I am highly unfamiliar with, and we would get it pulled together as soon as possible.

The moral of this story is to always present yourself with confidence, knowledge, and professionalism. When stepping into events like this, where it is expected to have these types of materials, show everything you have done to take that extra step in marketing yourself.

If you don't already, get business cards made that reflect who you are and don't be afraid to pass them out. You never know who you will meet, or where, so it is important to always be prepared.

The Super Duper Senior


My name is Nancy and I am currently a senior Interior Design Transfer Student at the University of Minnesota. I began my college journey six years ago, and will finally be graduating into the "real world" May 15, 2010!

I grew up in a small town of 500 people in Wyoming for 13 years of my life, and a medium size town in Oregon for 5 years. My adventures of a college student began the fall of 2004 at Arizona State University (ASU), where I declared an Interior Design major. It was a last minute choice, really, but the warm weather, outdoor pool, and thought of sunshine year-round was highly appealing over Gustavus Adolphus College in southern Minnesota (my first choice for over a year).

I attended ASU for a year, in which I experienced late nights, long projects, and lots of work... with plenty of sunshine in between of course. Even after all of the "perks" of the southern climate, I found that ASU was not the school for me and transferred to school number two.

This took me to the University of Cincinnati where I attended the DAAP Program (Design, Architecture, Art and Planning). This was a great program with much to offer including 6 mandatory internships before graduation, integrated Architecture and Interior Design studios for the first year, and interesting projects that required us to be in studio around the clock. . . literally. . . We had an air mattress to take naps on, which was outfitted with pillows and blankets.

However, despite the many opportunities this program had to offer, it was not the right time in my life to be away from family, so after a term I made my way back to Minnesota, where all of my family is from and residing.

I then began attending school number three; The University of Minnesota. Because I was starting in the spring, I was unable to enroll in the College of Design (CDes) until fall 2006. I was, however, able to begin some general classes required for my major while enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts (CLA). During this time I wrote a letter to accompany an application into the Pre-Interior Design Program at the U, which I would hopefully be starting in the fall.

Upon acceptance as a transfer student, I geared up to begin my four year journey through CDes. This was a scary thought as I'd be finished two years later than the "expected graduation date", but it didn't stop me from pursuing my dream of Interior Design. And here I am, now, after 3-1/2 years in an enriching program, starting my job search and ready to be plunged into the "real world".

In the recent months I have made a list of short-term and long-term goals for myself that have required me to be proactive with networking, job searches, and portfolio development. The objective of this blog is to share information that I gather along my journey to victory. I am hoping the information I post will be beneficial to many students across an array of majors, and help maintain motivation in the tough economy we are in.

Feel free to post comments if you like! Cheers!

Need help with your job search? The St. Paul Campus Career Center is here to help. Call 612-624-2710 for an appointment.

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