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College of Design

Friday, September 30, 2016

Another Year, Another Country

Hi everyone!

I love starting a new school year. Nothing is better than reorganizing your life and getting settled into a routine. This semester is a bit different though, as I’m spending it in London, England. That’s right - I’ll be writing to you all live from the UK with updates on my study abroad experience.

I have 2 weeks of classes under my belt now, and things are bit different than at home. Each of my classes are only once a week and are 3.5 hours long. It definitely makes me appreciate the hour and fifteen-minute classes at the U of M! It’s nice though because I have full afternoons to explore my new home, instead of going back and forth from classes and home.
The Victoria & Albert Museum courtyard I got the chance to visit during my free time!

I’m so grateful that I have this opportunity through the Retail Merchandising program to get all the credits I need so I’m still able to graduate on time. I’m so excited to learn more about international business and myself while I’m here. If you want to look into whats required for my major, check it out here!

Good luck to you all in this next semester at the U of M, and you’ll be hearing from me soon!


Retail Merchandising

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

So the Journey Begins

Hello all,

My name is Sarah and I am a junior currently  a part of the Pre-Product Design program here. I am beyond excited to take you all through the crazy exciting journey that is the new Product Design Major.  If you are interested in learning more about the technicalities of the major, you should check out the website here!

As the school year starts off, many of you I'm sure have found yourself overwhelmed with perfecting your design schoolwork already. Whenever I run out of creative ideas, I always try to take a step back and "smell the roses." Whether that be taking a break to watch the storm with its indigo lightning through the windows of Rapson (as pictured above), or even just going for a run, inspiration and design is everywhere.  By surrounding yourself with the simple aesthetics of everyday life, your eye is simply drawn to new ideas and concepts that you had never thought of before.  So, I want you to always remember, taking even just a 5 minute break to do something fun or exciting, might lead to the best idea you've ever had.

Until next time, I'll see all you designers at home (Rapson).

Monday, September 26, 2016

Senior Year is Here!

Hi everyone!

I'm happy to be back for another, final year of blogging about my experiences in the College of Design's Interior Design Program. It's now my senior year, yahoo!

I spent this summer completing my internship, which allowed me to gain a ton of experience and also get college credit. I worked at Miller Dunwiddie Architecture and got to be involved in an array of different things.

A section of the library at MDA that I helped maintain.

I worked on a variety of project types I haven't had a chance to in school, such as aviation, education, theaters, restaurants, and churches. I got to work on construction drawings, maintaining the library, attending meetings, ordering samples, designing custom graphics, and even assisting marketing with deliverables to try to obtain new projects. It was a very well-rounded experience and I feel like I gained a lot of knowledge in a lot of areas in a relatively short amount of time.

I'm really excited to be continuing the internship throughout the school year so I can continue to learn new things and gain experience.
Examples of finish selections pulled for an office project.

The things learned in an internship experience really are invaluable, and I encourage anyone to go for internships even before they are required for school credit. You learn a lot in a short amount of time and make really important connections with professionals. So even starting your freshman year, there are opportunities out there -- if you search -- that can give you a head start in gaining experience and additional knowledge outside of school. Check out GoldPASS for options or stop into IMS (International Market Square) where you can visit a bunch of places in one stop and find out if anyone is looking to hire. It's never to early to start gaining experience and it will do nothing but benefit you throughout school and even after when you are looking for a job.

I look forward to continuing to post throughout my senior year and sharing my experiences with you as I approach graduation!

Until next time,

Interior Design

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Writing Up My Summer

It’s good to be back on this blog!

I’ve been working hard at my internship, and I’ll still be with Make-A-Wish until mid-November! It’s already been such a valuable experience, just going into an office and working instead of spending all of my time in the classroom. I used to be so worried about making the transition from being a full-time student to a full-time professional once I’ve graduated, mostly because I’d had no office experience. Now I can know what an office environment is like, and it’s much less intimidating than I thought it would be.

I’ve been redesigning a lot of the documents that Make-A-Wish uses for its communication purposes, such as thank you letters for donators and profiles for their wish children. I’ve also been creating images for social media, which is something I’ve never done before! (…well, something I’ve never done for someone else. I’ve definitely designed a header or two for myself.) You can check out their Facebook page if you'd like to see a bit of what I've made.

Not only have I been designing for social media, I’ve been writing as well! One of my main tasks is drafting the copy for their daily Facebook and Twitter posts. The foundation has very strict guidelines for the messages they send to their audience, so I’ve been learning a lot about how to tailor my writing to suit a brand’s image. It’s been a process, but I’m proud of what I’ve learned so far.

Between my internship, my new thesis writing class, and this blog, I’ll be writing a lot this semester. It looks like these next few months are gonna be all write.

(I'm sorry, that was terrible.)


Graphic Design

Monday, September 19, 2016

Starting off Senior Year

Hey Everyone!

This past summer was a great break, but I am very excited to be back at school. I still can’t believe this is my senior year of college. Since I was accepted into the accelerated program, this also is my first year of graduate school in the Masters of Landscape Architecture program. These first two weeks of school have just flown by.  They have been filled with classes, our first studio course, meeting new and old professors and students and more!

Before classes officially started, I had the opportunity to accompany my fellow first year grad students and some of our incredible faculty up to Lake Itasca for a workshop. This 5-day trip allowed us to all get to know each other as well as our professor before we began classes. During this time, we were refreshed on the basic tenants of landscape architecture as a practice in lectures and through exploring the beautiful state park surrounding us. We spent each day out in the field looking at various landscapes and discussed their ecological and aesthetic factors and how this can inform how we create space for humans to interact with. One of my favorite landscapes we explored and analyzed was the Frenchman’s Bluff Scientific and Natural Area. This was a beautiful prairie bluff landscape that overlooked the surrounding area. Overall, this workshop was such an amazing experience and a great way to bond with my fellow classmates that I will be with for the next 3 years! I can’t wait to see what other new experiences I will have in the year coming!

Sketching demo at Frenchman's Bluff
Esker Landscape
End of the workshop bonfire

Landscape Design and Planning