RealWorld DesignWeek, the annual mentoring program created by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), which took place across the country last week, allowed students to shadow designers and industry professionals in many design related fields.
The Week is the first national program aimed at educating future interior designers through in-person experience.
“In its 5th year, RealWorld DesignWeek has consistently been one of the most valuable programs for ASID Students nationwide,” said Lindsay Marshall, spokesperson for ASID. “Students can shadow a mentor in a new city they hope to live in after graduation, or use this opportunity to network with those in their design community. Countless lasting relationships have been formed from this program.”
In New York, Susan Szenasy, the Editor-in-Chief of Metropolis magazine, hosted three students at her office, while Drew McGukin of Drew McGukin Interiors had two students shadow him.
“I think any opportunity to evaluate and understand the inner-workings of a design firm is especially important at the student level,” said McGukin. “You can’t learn this stuff on campus—you have to take the initiative to build your dream on your own.”
Students Danielle Gorelik and Myra Carmona with Drew McGukin
Danielle Gorelik, a graduate student at Berkeley College, spent the day with McGukin and was able to travel with him to stores where he buys products for his interiors and even a client space that was recently renovated.
“It was amazing to see his vision come to life,” said Gorelik. “Drew was an inspirational mentor who not only is passionate about the field of design, but also the people he works with.”
Socrates Tiglao, a graduate student at Marymount University studying interior design, spent a day at the ASID offices in Washington, DC and said he valued most the networking opportunity and chance to meet people in the industry.
“RealWorld DesignWeek has taught me that there are so many careers paths that a graduating student can get into,” said Tiglao. “Being able to shadow at the ASID Headquarters has exposed me to a career path that I never knew existed.”
RealWorld DesignWeek, the only national volunteer opportunity for all 30,000 ASID members, benefits these professionals as well, giving them a chance to give back to young students. For more information on how to get involved, click here.
Over 4,000 ASID members have participated since the program launched in 2007 and this year surpassed the record-setting numbers for participation in 2011.