By Barbara Keller, ASID
In spite of rain and a very chilly day, students enjoyed a visual and information packed time at our annual Student Career Day on February 27 at the Laguna Design Center. Following a light breakfast provided by Witford, students were greeted by our president, Deirdre Eagles. Then students were placed in groups with an ASID member who served as a guide and answered questions.
Students attended 8 different sessions during the day each held in a different showroom. Participating showrooms included Witford, Baker Knapp & Tubbs, Bassman-Blaine, B & C Select, Blake House, Fremarc, Kravet, and Lighting Innovations. Students were able to tour each showroom and then had an informative session at each of the participating showrooms. Students learned about working with a custom workroom, working with contractors, how to sell luxury furnishings and fabrics, specifying lighting, working with sales reps, and that there are often other options in finishes, sizes, and fabrics besides what they’re seeing on a showroom floor.
During lunch, which was provided by Café Fresca, a panel discussion was held. The panel, moderated by David Rance, represented residential, hospitality, and medical office design. Rona Graff and Stephanie Fryer, Grace Blu Designs Inc., talked about their journey from school to partnering and beginning Grace Blu Designs, a boutique residential design firm. Beverly Stadler, Design Focus Inc., shared how she moved from nursing to interior design and her firm’s focus on designing medical offices. Mike Hatch, of Hatch Design Group also shared his background and discussed the variety of hospitality projects his firm works on. The entire panel also shared what they had to learn when starting out, offered great tips for the students, and what they looked for when hiring.
Students also met in the ASID office with Audrey Duncan, Membership Director. Audrey discussed transitioning from student member to Allied ASID member, the Emerging Professionals group, and the many benefits of belonging to ASID. Following the sessions, students were able to visit other showrooms.
Many thanks to everyone who helped make the day successful and special thanks to Crystal Prag and the Laguna Design Center which provided the room, tables and chairs, and AV equipment. And, thank you Mother Nature for the sun which came out during the day!