As some of you know I am the Student President for the College of Design Student and Alumni Board. We are a board of professionals and students that represent each major within the College of Design, and bring the college-to-career experience to our students.
Some of our past events have been firm tours, professional panels, and the annual Dirty Laundry event. This year, however, I was an active committee member for a new event called "Design in 7." This event was created as a fun, creative, and networking experience for both professionals and students to enjoy. We held our premier event on March 15th, 2010 at the Weisman Art Gallery.
Design in 7 consisted of 7 speakers, one for each major within CDes, who shared an inspiring or intriguing story for 7 minutes. We were fortunate enough to have seven wonderful and creative speakers this year, all keeping the audience engaged and laughing.
We had Amy Michielle tell us why we should "stay cute", John relay the importance of "listening", Chuck, the "pretty happy guy", express his extreme distaste for his name and wished it was Steeeeeeeeeeeeeeeve, and Anita reveal the inspiration behind the design process.
Bill spoke of many inspiring projects, Wayne invited us into his "neighborhood" and shared a humbling experience, and Damon reminisced the "old ways" of hand drafting and dirt bags. It was great to hear the different topics each presenter came up with on their own! And it reminds me of the creativity our majors thrive on.
Following the 49 minute event, we had hors d'eurves and drinks in our reception area. This provided a great opportunity to network with the professionals, and I hope many students took advantage! I was able to connect on a personal level with both the Interior Design and Architecture speakers. Both were very inspiring and encouraged me to keep my chin up and trudge forward.
John gave me some valuable advice during our brief conversation. He said, "be persistent"... speaking of looking for a job. This has been resonating in my head since Thursday night. It has also inspired me to do something I would normally never do... stray from protocol.
Someone told me last week, "Designers never follow the rules." And this is true. I have decided to go out on a limb and not follow the rules of applying for a job. I am taking a different avenue... Contacting the principal directly. Of course, by doing so my cover letter has to connect on a more personal level, my resume should speak to their personality, and my portfolio should be sent in a way that is appreciated by that individual.
This means if you are sending something to a potential employer who is more traditional, send it via snail mail. Pay the extra postage to obtain a confirmation signature to make sure it gets in the hands of that person. Print your resume and cover letter out on respectable paper, and never fold the documents.
Always, always, always, put it in a larger envelope. They sell them in mass quantities... invest in a pack. And most importantly PAY ATTENTION to who you are speaking to, what they have to say, and any and all advice they give you. Free advice is hard to come by... embrace it folks! That's all for now, but I'll let you know if I have any success with my gutsy move as I "stray from protocol!"