Hey everyone! Today in The Student Lounge, Trish is joined with McKenna Heck, a recent graduate and new Minneapolis designer. The two dive into what life is like to be a fresh graduate; from working odd jobs to finding internships, paying attention to numbers, and learning on your own, you have to manage all of this and more as a new designer.
A small town girl from Wisconsin, McKenna attended UW Stout, not far from the Twin Cities. Earning a BFA allowed her to explore drawing, painting, ceramics, and metals, alongside interior design. From the built environment and AutoCAD classes to light construction, the program offered a wide range of courses to have a better understanding of the industry. The hands-on classes broadened her understanding of how things technically function and allowed her to look at design in an artistic context.
During her internship at The Chaise Lounge, McKenna wrote an E-Book, So You’ve Graduated Design School… Now What?!. With advice from Top designers from across The States, the book guides you through the steps to take as a new designer.
Life After Design School
Picking up a position at the Dallas National Golf Club the summer after graduating, McKenna had the chance to connect with successful business people who regularly hire designers. Interacting with and getting to know people at the club, she had the opportunity to learn how to communicate with higher-end clientele.
Attending Metrocon, a Dallas design market, she met many designers eager to jump-start her career and mentor her along her journey. Without walking up to strangers and introducing herself, some of the connections she made would never have been possible. Beyond new LinkedIn connections, attending markets helps her stay in the know with regards to the latest trends and products.
An introduction into the industry, McKenna was taught the importance of maintaining a calendar and problem-solving at the last of her internships. No longer in a classroom where she could ask endless questions, McKenna had to transition from school to the working world. Problem-solving and researching solutions on your own is very, very important.
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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