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College of Design

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Mentee/Mentor

Hello all! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed the break as much as I did! Now it is time to crack down into the few final weeks of the semester.

Classes are the most important part of college, but I've always had a firm belief that being a well-rounded college student is equally as important. Being involved and making connections is something that goes beyond the classroom and is essential during one's college years, and most definitely after. In the Design World, connections are very important and are often a key element when it comes to landing a job or an internship. Therefore, it is necessary to make these connections while still in school. Look no further than the College of Design's Design Student and Alumni Board.

The Design Student and Alumni Board (DSAB) hosts a few events throughout the year and provides an opportunity to meet with alumni or design firms around the Twin Cities metro area. These events allow students to speak one-on-one to firms and receive feedback on their portfolio or resume. Another great program that DSAB holds is the Mentorship program. This program is one of the largest mentorship programs at the U of M, even though the College of Design is one of the smallest colleges. The mentorship program is absolutely fantastic. It connects one student and one professional based on the interests of the student. I have interests in sustainability and travel, therefore my past two mentors have had similar interests. The mentors come from a number of firms scattered around the cities, some large, some small.

From November to April mentees and mentors communicate via email, phone, or in person at least once a month. I usually just met my mentor for coffee and we attended some of the events or lectures hosted by the College of Design. I also went on a firm tour, which is a really neat experience in a one-on-one, casual setting. It was cool to see the environments of my mentors--an architect and a house designer. I believe DSAB's Mentorship program is one of the best experiences I've had. One can learn a lot from someone who shares the same passions as you, and have gone through the same things you have. We could all use advice on how to structure our portfolio, or whether or not we go to graduate school right away. It means a lot coming from a professional who is interested in your well being and has taken time out of his or her schedule to answer your (many, many) questions. Such a great experience!

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Check out more photos from the College of Design here.

-Margo
--Architecture