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Hey folks, on today’s pod Trish chats with Ryan Ben of International Interior Design Association (IIDA), in Chicago, Illinois. Ryan, working at IIDA, is the Student Engagement and Advancement Manager. Trish and Ryan get into the importance of joining associations and attending events offered for students who are delving into the industry.

Though Ryan Ben has been living in Chicago Illinois for ten years, he’s originally from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. An enthusiastic reader, triathlete and transitioning towards a plant-based diet, he’s detail-oriented and lives a very scheduled life, to say the least. Switching from studying business to theater, at The University of Pittsburgh, he eventually found his way to the world of design after acting for a time in Chicago. For over seven years he’s been working with volunteers and members of IIDA.

Students frequently are hesitant to spend money on memberships but the gains are incredible. Endless events are offered for students to network and get into the industry through IIDA, alone. Beyond networking and learning, you have the chance to see what the industry looks like, outside of a classroom.

What is IIDA?

From magazines, design news, discounts, receiving a .design domain with a free year of hosting, educational events, and mentoring programs, IIDA is here for YOU! Competitions are open for members and non-members to become involved. The 2019 IIDA Student Competition – based around healthcare design – winning team will receive $2,500. Student Booth Design competition winners will attend Orgatec, in Cologne, Germany in 2020 with the IIDA team, representing their booth. Submissions for this extraordinary opportunity open in the winter of 2019.

How do I get involved?

IIDA students, or those looking to join, can email or call Ryan with any questions from finding internships and jobs to how to become involved with the association. In addition to contacting him, each chapter has highly invested design volunteers always seeking young designers and students to connect with. City Centers and Campus Centers are located all around the world, so find your chapter!

A special, September 1, new students can become involved the rest of this year and next for only $60. Visit here to join online.

If interested, contact Ryan Ben directly at rben@iida.org. Find IIDA at iida.orgtwitter.com/IIDA_HQ, and Instagram.com/IIDA­_HQ.

To learn more about the business of interior design and life as a designer after school, visit The Chaise Lounge Podcast.

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