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College of Design

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

CDES Mentorship

Hello everybody!

Who else is ready for Winter Break?! With the holiday decorations and music starting back in November, it is hard to believe that break is finally (almost) here! I find it helpful to have fun activities planned relative to my major…it makes studying seem much more meaningful to me!

I recently was able to meet with my College of Design Mentor. She is one of the managers for Product Design at Target. I have had an amazing experience so far with this program…I would highly recommend it! This opportunity has allowed me to meet so many retail professionals and see how each company runs their design team. I wish I would have known about this program earlier…here is the link for those that are interested!

My mentor is actually a University of Minnesota College of Design Alum. It is great to hear how she felt prepared through her coursework to enter the real world. As an experienced professional, she has amazing advice to give to people trying to start out in the field of retail. Her time spent with Target has evolved from entry-level design positions to senior managing roles. The flexibility and the wide variety of knowledge she has had due to her varying positions has allowed her to understand multiple levels of the industry.

This week we decided to meet and I had the chance to tour the Target Product Development Headquarters. They are currently in the process of moving the headquarters, so I was able to see both spaces. The first office area was much more of the traditional office space. The departments were clearly separated and each designer had their own cubicle space. The newer space was designed with designers in mind. It is a much more cross-functional and collaborative space. There are no longer cubicles and the office space is much more open. There are brighter lights, higher ceilings, and ah-mazing views of downtown Minneapolis. Who wouldn’t be inspired in that kind of space?! It was awesome to get a chance to see the varying levels of finished products. Everything from textiles to finished products are available at your fingertips!