NEWH - Fall 2019 - 6

STUDENT PERSPECTIVE

Keep Your Friends Close,
Keep Your Contractors Closer
Lessons from the NEWH Chicago Young Professionals Event
EMILY BARRY
College of DuPage, Interior Design

L

Emily Barry

6

www.newh.org

ike many, I find the buildup before a networking event nerve wracking: The grind to get
a presentable portfolio together, the obsessive spellchecking of your resume, the rush
shipping charges on business cards. However, the more I attend these events, the better
prepared I am and the less nervous I feel. For those new to an interior design program or green
to networking events, I hope my recent experience at the NEWH Chicago Young Professionals
Event can provide some insight.
A tickle of nerves wakes me up at 5:00 am. In nine hours it will all be over. I repeat my
checklist of things before taking the train into the city. Portfolio? Check. Resume? Check.
Business cards? Check times 100. I change into between seven and 12 outfits before I settle on
pants and a favorite blazer. I've learned from experience that in order to spread your best social
sparkle while networking you have to be comfortable. Steer clear of the heels, unless they give
you a boost of confidence. But when in doubt, it's better to overdress than underdress.
I board the train to Chicago. My headphones blast some psych-up Beyoncé, while potential
interview answers whirl through my head. In five hours it will all be over. My adrenaline forces
me to unwittingly speed walk to the Merchandise Mart, where I meet my friends. Teaming up
with familiar faces in an unfamiliar environment is an easy way to quell the nerves.
We arrive to the Kravet showroom with time to spare. Arriving early to an event is ideal to
compose yourself, find the bathrooms, check in, and look professional so you're not seen redin-the-face running through the doors.
The NEWH Chicago chapter's director of scholarship, Natalie Sheedy, introduces the event
and splits us up into groups. My friends are placed into a different group, but no need to panic.
In four hours it will all be over. This is a great opportunity to remember that you'll be alone
when you're interviewing, so practice these solo skills in a less taxing environment. My group
begins by watching short movies on NEWH scholarships. We hear inspiring stories on the
opportunities these scholarships offer, and how few even bother to apply. Pro tip: Apply.
The first portion of the day whips by and we are led into the Lee Jofa showroom for a student
and professional group "speed dating" session. The time we have with each set of professionals
feels far shorter than the actual 10 minutes given, teaching you to make a positive impression
quickly. Offer a firm handshake, sit up straight, ask engaging questions, and confidently hand
over that business card.
We move on to the final segment, meeting for one-on-one reviews of our resumes and
portfolios. I sit up with pride as Duk Kim from Stantec commends my work and agree
appreciatively when he advises me on portfolio layout. Before I know it, I'm wide-eyed listening
to Ms. Sheedy's closing remarks, piecing together the onslaught of information from the day.
The resounding message: You will mess up. You will forget your business cards. You will wear
the wrong shoes to a job site. You will make blatant errors on construction documents. But time
and time again we hear, "That's OK. I do, too." Our careers will be bookmarked by mistakes,
providing reference to learning opportunities. As the professionals advise, befriend the other
designers, answer that call for lunch from the sales rep, maintain a steady rapport with the
construction team. These people will have your back when you mess up. They decide if you fall
on your face or if they are there to catch you. So, keep your friends close but your contractors
closer, because at the end of the day we all make mistakes.
I'm riding on the train headed home. One hour ago it was all done. I wish I could do it again. ❙❘❚


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NEWH - Fall 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NEWH - Fall 2019

NEWH - Fall 2019
Table of contents
GUEST PERSPECTIVE
STUDENT PERSPECTIVE
WHO’S WHO
NEWS
CONFERENCE ROUNDUP
HAVE YOU SEEN?
SCHOLARSHIPS
INTERVIEW
SUSTAINABILITY
Q&A: Shana McCullough-Downing
Q&A: Jordan McInturf
Q&A: Debbie McKelvey
ON THE COVER
PROJECT: Lido House
PROJECT: Bluebird London
PROJECT: Miramonti
PROJECT: Legal Sea Bar
CHAPTER HIGHLIGHTS
SAVE THE DATE
NEW MEMBERS
PARTNER PROFILES
AD INDEX
NEWH - Fall 2019 - NEWH - Fall 2019
NEWH - Fall 2019 - Cover2
NEWH - Fall 2019 - Table of contents
NEWH - Fall 2019 - GUEST PERSPECTIVE
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 5
NEWH - Fall 2019 - STUDENT PERSPECTIVE
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 7
NEWH - Fall 2019 - WHO’S WHO
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 9
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 10
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 11
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 12
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 13
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 14
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 15
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 16
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 17
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 18
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 19
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 20
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 21
NEWH - Fall 2019 - NEWS
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 23
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 24
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 25
NEWH - Fall 2019 - CONFERENCE ROUNDUP
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 27
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 28
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 29
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 30
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 31
NEWH - Fall 2019 - HAVE YOU SEEN?
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 33
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 34
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 35
NEWH - Fall 2019 - SCHOLARSHIPS
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 37
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 38
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 39
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 40
NEWH - Fall 2019 - INTERVIEW
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 42
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 43
NEWH - Fall 2019 - SUSTAINABILITY
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 45
NEWH - Fall 2019 - Q&A: Shana McCullough-Downing
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 47
NEWH - Fall 2019 - Q&A: Jordan McInturf
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 49
NEWH - Fall 2019 - Q&A: Debbie McKelvey
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 51
NEWH - Fall 2019 - ON THE COVER
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 53
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 54
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 55
NEWH - Fall 2019 - PROJECT: Lido House
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 57
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 58
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 59
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 60
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 61
NEWH - Fall 2019 - PROJECT: Bluebird London
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 63
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 64
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 65
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 66
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 67
NEWH - Fall 2019 - PROJECT: Miramonti
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 69
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 70
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 71
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 72
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 73
NEWH - Fall 2019 - PROJECT: Legal Sea Bar
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 75
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 76
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 77
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 78
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 79
NEWH - Fall 2019 - CHAPTER HIGHLIGHTS
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 81
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 82
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 83
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 84
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 85
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 86
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 87
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 88
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 89
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 90
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 91
NEWH - Fall 2019 - SAVE THE DATE
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 93
NEWH - Fall 2019 - NEW MEMBERS
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 95
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 96
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 97
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 98
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 99
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 100
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 101
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 102
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 103
NEWH - Fall 2019 - PARTNER PROFILES
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 105
NEWH - Fall 2019 - AD INDEX
NEWH - Fall 2019 - Cover3
NEWH - Fall 2019 - Cover4
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