Crazy to think it's already been 3 weeks since my very short 48 hrs trip in the US!
The Merchandising & Design department of CMU invited me to speak at the annual career day. I have learned a lot both from the program but also from life in general and was happy to give advice to the student on how to prepare for life post college and what is most important to take from school for the journey ahead. I remember as student when former alumni would come back and share their experience since graduating and was excited to see that there really is life after stressful projects and an exciting future ahead which includes more stressful projects.. but more importantly also a paycheck! I couldn't wait to be part of it all and hopefully one day also have the chance to give back.
Even having graduating in 2009... which everyone knows was the worst possible year job-wise. Somehow I made it work (partially though luck) and wouldn't be where I am now had it not been for the steps I took in college...
The 2 days were split into segments beginning with myself and the 3 other alums (representatives of positions in buying , technical design & retail). We each presented our work history and what we are currently doing. I went over my daily tasks and the design process. Giving an overview of how things are at different companies and depending on the level one is working at followed by Q&A. I was asked to do a side presentation for the CAD class which will be designing a collection based on my current employer so I made a video explaining the target consumer and some details that we are know for and which are important when designing for a specific market.
The next day I taught a workshop on designing a commercial product. I made it clear to the students that you have to have balance in creativity and sell ability! The 2nd half of the class I had them all design a shirt which ended with each student presenting their shirt and being critiqued by myself and their peers based on design, details, fabrics... I also wanted to hear feedback from them as to what they thought before the class and how they now understand what is important to look for when buying or designing.
It was jammed pack 2 days to say the least but having the chance to be a guest speaker at my university was not something that comes every day. I really appreciated the opportunity and I am impressed by the progress the program and university has undergone even when it was only 4 years ago that I graduated.
I which I had a picture of my outfit the first day because I was on point!