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College of Design

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Out of the Classroom Experience

Happy break, readers!

I'm down to three weeks until I leave for my semester abroad in Copenhagen. It is still surreal, but I am incredibly excited. As things are winding down, I've had to part ways with my first studio desk, and have my last day at my architecture internship.

I started at mattson|schuster last December and have worked there as the Architect Intern the past two semesters as well as throughout this past summer. mattson|schuster is a small, residential remodelling company with an office in Excelsior. Being that the company is quite small, I was able to get very hands-on experience. The designs were done between my boss and I, and as I continued to get more experience, I got even more freedom with the designs. As with any job, I learned so much when I first started -- codes, sizing, foundations, pricing.

What was really great about this internship is that I continued to learn throughout my time there. In the remodelling field, every home you visit is different. Customers desire different changes to their home, and each house has a pre-existing challenge that we either need to fix, or work around. That is one of my favorite parts about being in the remodelling business rather than new build; each project has to be different, because the existing structures are never the same. Below is a picture with everyone at mattson|schuster enjoying lunch on my last day! Check out some of the work from mattson|schuster here.

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I have a very strong belief that internships are absolutely necessary to pair with one's education. This opportunity provided me with skills and knowledge that some of my peers don't currently have. Everything is not taught through coursework, and therefore, first hand experience is exceptionally relevant. Sometimes I got overwhelmed with balancing my internship and my coursework, but that is also a skill we all need to learn. Balancing a number of things is a struggle in college, but it makes it all that much more rewarding. Internships look fabulous on a resume, too! Even if you only work once or twice a week, or maybe 20 hours, it all adds up and shows your experience and commitment to your education and career choice.

The U of M has an awesome Career & Internship Services office, where students can go for free. I went there a few times last fall and received advice on my resume and more information on how to use the internship search. By December I had landed myself an internship!

See you in 2015! Happiest New Year!

-Margo
--Architecture

Goodbye London, Hello Minneapolis

I hope everyone had a great holiday! I'm back home in Minneapolis. It's been a little bit of an adjustment coming back home, but it feels great to be here. I miss London and all the people that I've grown so close to there. My body is still adjusting to being back in this time zone and my pocket book is a lot emptier, but the experience I had there was worth it all, and then some.

I'm excited to be coming back with all these new skills I've learned, and bring them into the new semester and the new year! After this, I promise I won't go on and on about my study abroad trip and how wonderful it was. I just want to recommend one more time, that if anyone is considering going abroad to study, do it! You'll make lasting friendships from people around the world. It will push you outside of your comfort zone, and make you a stronger person. You'll learn things and have experiences that you may not learn or have otherwise. You'll also create memories and stories that will stick with you for a lifetime.

If I've convinced you to go abroad, and you want to go to London, let me give you some tips. The first couple of days may be hard, you may get homesick and you may be a little scared, but don't worry, that's normal and it will pass. Don't be afraid to ask for assistance with directions or interact with people. They say that the majority of Londoners aren't even from London, so most people should be willing to help. You may not get any help the first couple of times, but don't give up--persistence will usually lead you in the right direction. If you aren't from a big city, you're going to have to learn not to take things personally and to toughen up a little. Don't be afraid to be a little aggressive when walking through the crowd. A smile and being polite will also usually be returned with a smile as well. Definitely save money. London is an expensive city, so you want to make sure your experience isn't hindered with the worry of financial issues. While you're abroad, I would also recommend having someone help you take care of any issues that you might still have at home, because it's hard juggling a life abroad as well as your life back home. Make sure to make your time there the best experience it can be by making new friends and making memories.

I'll leave you with those tips for now. Until next time, have a happy New Year! Be safe and make good choices!

This is a picture of the illustration of my final line up for the collection I designed.
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Here are some pictures of the final exhibition we did of our work in the semester.
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And now here is a picture of some of the best people in the world, my classmates and our tutor.
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Go to http://design.umn.edu/images/blogs/studentblog_convert/ to follow my blog and keep up with what's going on with me. Also, make sure to check out the UMNDesign Instagram to see more of my pics.

Lee
Apparel Design


Minneapolis: A love affair

Hello Everyone!

Every year, the holidays remind me of why I love Minneapolis so much. In fact, one of the reasons I chose to transfer to the U of M was because of the city. I didn't always love Minneapolis, but it took leaving to make me realize how really great our city and state truly are!

Minneapolis has been ranked the Healthiest City in America by Forbes, the Best Place for Millenials, the 2nd Happiest State in America, and Friendliest City in America, just to name a few. If you want to read further about what else Minneapolis excels in, click here!

Minneapolis Market

Another reason I love Minneapolis is simply the amount of things there are to do here! A few of my favorites include going to farmer's markets, hanging out at Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet, ice skating at the Depot, and going to all the various festivals held throughout the year.

To find out more about what Minneapolis has to offer, Meet Minneapolis has compiled a list of 150+ things to do in Minneapolis.

If you're still not convinced, check out these videos Greater MSP and Meet Minneapolis have put together:

Welcome to Greater MSP

Minneapolis -- By the Seasons

And for those of you who are apprehensive of our winters, make sure you check out this one!

GMSP -- We Embrace Winter

I hope you all will fall in love with Minneapolis and Minnesota just as I have.

Until next time!

Leah
Graphic Design

Internship Search

It's winter break and for many people that means the start of the search for a summer internship. I know for future students this may not be the first thing on your mind as you're considering colleges, but I think it's definitely something that you should take into account! A school that supports your search for an internship and eventually a job and career is a school you want to be a part of.
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The internship search can be stressful for a lot of people, but I have discovered some great tips and resources that can be helpful to find something you will really enjoy doing.


  1. 1. Informational Interviews. The first thing I suggest is taking part in some informational interviews. This is such a great, informal way to learn more about an organization, its work environment, and if you would enjoy working there. A lot of places will be very willing to talk to you as a student and let you see what they do on a daily basis. I HIGHLY recommend taking part in one of these. It can be intimidating at first, but from personal experience, I promise it is nothing to worry about and will be a very rewarding experience. The link above provides some information about informational interviews and tips for conducting one.



  1. 2. GoldPASS. A great resource the U of M offers is GoldPASS. It's a job search platform for students and includes job and internship opportunities from employers who are interested in hiring University students.



  1. 3. Resume help. The U of M provides career services that offer a lot of help preparing your resume for potential jobs. They provide tools such as networking information and mock interviews. Taking advantage of these resources is a great way to make sure you're prepared before an interview or submitting an application.


The job hunt can seem daunting, but if you're organized, prepared, and take advantage of the great resources at hand, it can be an easy, stress free, and exciting process. I hope this helps you out either in your future search for an internship or job, or even just to get you thinking about what the future holds.

Hope you're all having a fantastic holiday season!

Megan
Interior Design

Winter Break Life

Winter break, one of the most relieving times of the year for college students, has been pretty low-key so far. My fall internship is over and now I don't work unless it snows. Given the fact there hasn't been much snow, I've found myself just relaxing, where as normally I would be plowing if there were snow.

Currently, I am working on an application for the Accelerated Track for Landscape Architecture, a program that would allow me to start graduate school a year early and would offer a rather reduced price tag. I've also spent my time on break going to the lake to enjoy some ice fishing and outdoor recreation. The picture below is of my dog out on the lake over the holidays.

If you are interested in the Landscape Architecture program, and possibly graduate school someday, visit the Masters of Landscape Architecture web page. Just checking it out is helpful and will give you an idea of what you can expect in the coming years.

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Allen
Landscape Design and Planning

Masters of Landscape Architecture

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Textbook Talk

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Hello again!

I can officially say that I'm halfway through my junior year of college - how crazy is that? It feels like just yesterday I was walking into my AP European History class in high school. My favorite part of the end of the semester is returning my books to the bookstore.

I choose to rent my textbooks when applicable because it saves me a lot of money! If you have the option to buy or rent a textbook, I would suggest renting. You can write and highlight in the textbook as you would if you bought it, and then simply return it to the bookstore at the end of the semester. I also like renting my textbooks because I don't have to fuss with storing them or worry about selling them to another student on campus. However, if you prefer to buy your textbooks, Facebook is a great resource!

I hope you all have an amazing holiday and a safe break!

Style on,
Bethanie
Retail Merchandising

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

There's No Place Like Home

This is the final week for the program at Central Saint Martins in London. This week, we are doing our finishing touches on our final projects, as well as setting up an exhibition of all the work we have done while we've been here. The exhibition is in collaboration with the studio art students and the graphic design students who are also studying abroad. The task is to be able to curate all of our work into a cohesive exhibition, which means that we have to look at the space available to us, and decide what works we want to display and how we are going to display them. Turns out, putting up and curating an exhibition is a lot harder than you might think, especially when you have to make a cohesive show with so many different styles and pieces from everyone.

I'm excited and sad at the same time that my time here is almost done. I've learned a lot of things, had some amazing experiences, and have made some amazing new friends while I've been here. I'm excited to bring back the new knowledge I've learned here into the work I'll be doing when I get home. There will definitely be things I'll miss about London, but I'm definitely ready to go home.

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Go to http://design.umn.edu/images/blogs/studentblog_convert/ to follow my blog and keep up with what's going on with me. Also, make sure to check out the UMNDesign Instagram to see more of my pics.

Lee
Apparel Design


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Finals, and projects, and papers - Oh my!

Finals week officially kicked off on Saturday. Lucky for me, I did have a final on Saturday. During my (almost) three years at the U of M, I've never had a Saturday final. However, it really wasn't as bad as it sounds. I only have one final left in my Human Resources class and then I'll be working, reading books (for fun), and blogging over my winter break.

Finals week is a pretty big deal in college, but don't let it scare you! My biggest piece of advice is to keep up with your readings and fully understand all material as the semester progresses. This way, when finals week creeps up, you'll already feel semi-prepared and you can focus your time on reviewing materials rather than trying to read and learn new material in addition to studying everything from the previous months. I made the mistake of getting behind on my HR readings and I now have to read eight chapters AND study before my exam on Thursday -- don't do this! Save yourself the stress. You'll thank me later.

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This photo was taken before my Textile Analysis lab final. We were all pretty nervous and we studied right up until the last minute!

P.S. The U of M libraries are awesome recourses to use during finals week. They are even open 24/7!!

Style On,
Bethanie
Retail Merchandising

Fall Semester Is Over!

Hi everyone,

Well, it's already that time of the year--winter break! I was lucky enough to have all my finals done by Saturday and don't have any taking place over finals week. It feels great to have it all done, as these last few weeks have been jam-packed with things to-do and stuff to worry about.

Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 7.18.34 PM.pngThe other week my codes class (IDES 2613) went on a field trip to the new Microbiology Research Facility being built on campus and looked at how they are using codes in the construction of the building. To the left you can see a photo of me and some classmates outside of the site. We received a hardhat tour of the site and it was really interesting!

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After that it was time for me to get down to studying and finishing up projects. My big final project, for Interior Design Studio 3, was to design a chair showroom (seen on the right). It was a lot of work, but I was able to get it done on time and created something I am really proud of! After turning it in and finishing my final exams, it has been a great relief to be to-do free. It actually feels a little weird, but I think I can get used to it!

I hope everyone is finishing their semesters strong and best of luck on final tests and projects! Have a great winter break!

Megan
Interior Design

A Little Inspiration for Finals Week

Hello Everyone!

As finals are upon us, it can sometimes be challenging to stay focused and motivated all the way through to the end. Therefore, today I want to talk about inspiration and where I (and you!) can find it.

Oftentimes, before I start a project, if I get stuck, or just need a study break, I like to search through the graphic design tags on Tumblr and Pinterest. I keep both a design inspiration blog on Tumblr and a Design board on Pinterest so I can go back and look at the pieces I have re-posted or pinned whenever I need to.

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If you don't do so already, I highly recommend it! If you don't know where to start, Creative Bloq put together this list of The 90 Best Tumblr Blogs for Designers.

A few other great websites to check in with, include:

-- The Dieline
-- Creative Bloq
-- Packaging of the World
-- Lovely Package
-- The Design Blog

What's great about these sites is that they all have Twitter profiles and Facebook pages, as well. If you follow them on those platforms, reviewing their content can fit into your regular social media check (I know you all do it already) and you won't have to always be checking in with their site.

Until next time,

Leah
Graphic Design

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Nearing the End

Finals are here and the Fall 2014 Semester is almost to a close. For the most part, my finals have not been too bad. In the Landscape Architecture program, most of our work is project-based, which means not a whole lot of tests to study for. However, it does mean you are working hard to get that final project complete. Luckily, for me, my finals end pretty early this year. Four of my five classes are already wrapped up, and all I have left is a drawing project to present on Monday.

If you enjoy working on projects rather than memorizing things, Landscape Architecture might be a good fit for you. If you like gluing things together or drawing, it might be a good fit as well, and finals may be a little less stressful. Nonetheless, I am excited to finish up my fall semester on Monday and have a nice winter break. It will be nice to relax and enjoy some free time.

Pictured is a plan from one of my final projects.

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Allen
Landscape Design and Planning

The Final Review.

Sault Archies!

The whirlwind of studio finals is now over, and I'm approaching my last exam of the semester. I'd have to say this semester has flown by faster than any semester yet, which is just bringing me closer to my departure date for Copenhagen!

Our Studio One review was on the 8th, so after our return from Thanksgiving break, it was crunch time. I spent most of my time the weekend before the review at Rapson Hall making models and drawings. Although I spent a lot of time preparing for the presentation, it was a blast to be surrounded by all my friends who had the same deadline.

When it came time for the review, I was ready to rock my presentation. I had been working on this project for eight weeks, and I felt confident. That said, not everyone who looks at your project can feel the same way about it as you. This review was probably the hardest one I've had to date. I had to keep in mind that design is about pleasing yourself (mostly) and pleasing others (also important) who are grading and reviewing your project, but also have many more years of experience. I was happy with my designs and felt they were strong, so I tried to brush it off. Being critiqued by your peers and professionals takes a lot of courage. You have to remind yourself not to take it too personally because, ultimately, their goal is to help you improve.

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Do a bit of research during holiday break on which Architecture Degree Program is best for you!

Margo
Architecture

Monday, December 1, 2014

Au Revoir Paris! Hello London!

Our break is over and I'm back from Paris. Paris was an amazing trip! Such a beautiful city, with so much to see, experience, and of course, taste!! I went on top of the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower, went down into The Catacombs of Paris, saw Notre Dame, and tasted amazing croissants and macarons! Definitely go to Paris if you get a chance, and if you do, it will definitely help if you learn some French phrases and words.

Now it's back to work. It's crazy to think that I only have three weeks left in this program at Central Saint Martins in London. I still feel like I just got here, but at the same time, like I've lived here for years. All of the electives are done for the program, and now we are on to our next module, Fashion Design 2. This is where we will be using all the skills that we learned from the previous 11 weeks in our final project. The project will be to create a collection, but a huge concentration will be on the process to make it into a portfolio-worthy piece to showcase our design process skills. Now to dive into research and to get some inspiration--wish me luck!

More pics from Paris!
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Go to http://design.umn.edu/images/blogs/studentblog_convert/ to follow my blog and keep up with my life studying here in London. Also, make sure to check out the UMNDesign Instagram to see some more of my experiences abroad.

Lee
Apparel Design