The ASID Emerging Professionals committee, co-chaired by Anna Sanders and Marco Rebollar, hosted a job fair and career advancement event titled “Start Strong, Stay Strong,” on April 18th, 2019 at International Market Square. The committee plans to make it an annual event to bring value to graduating students and emerging professionals.

At the event, students and emerging professionals were given the opportunity to network with over 20 employers who are currently hiring both full and part-time positions and interns. 

Kimberley Seldon, a nationally recognized designer, author and business coach, was the keynote speaker. She gave an inspiring talk about her path to a successful career. Along with her experience as an interior designer, her background includes hosting a show on HGTV Canada.  She talked about bending over backward to make her clients happy, but found that many of her projects would end when they were about 70% completed.  After working with a business coach, she realized she wasn’t delivering projects on time or on budget.  Over time, the coaching helped her develop a system for project management that allowed her to gain confidence, set boundaries and become a much more successful business owner.  Once she nailed down her business systems, she began sharing them with other designers and founded her company; Business of Design in 2006.While her business is geared toward helping independent designers, much of her advice is relevant to designers working in firms as well.

Some of her advice included:

  • Getting involved and networking. Network with the right people.
  • Taking a look at your baggage around talking about money. Designers need to ask for and charge what they are worth.   When you charge what you’re worth, you get more respect from your clients and have more successful projects. 
  • Charging for your consultations rather than giving away time for free. Consultations are work time.  In addition, charging for consultations help to qualify potential clients. 

The participating employers included the following;  Aero Draperty & Blind, Amsun & Ash, Aspire, California Closets, Design Within Reach, Gabberts, Habitation, Intersource, KDR, Lappin Lighting, Minnesota Tile & Stone, Montaggio, RH, RLH Studio, Rabbit Creek, Scherping Westphal, Select Surfaces, Tapis Décor, The Tile Shop and Warner’s Stellian. 

A big thank you to event sponsors Montaggio, Rabbit Creek and Francis King.  Additionally, California Closets and Unique by Design sponsored tickets for the first 25 students to sign up.