Firms Conduct Record Number of Student Interviews at Design Expo

Nearly 100 leading design firms conducted a record 1,150-plus interviews at the University’s annual Design Expo.
Two Jefferson alumni interview a student at a table.
Alumni Britt Chapman and Javier Villarroel returned to campus to interview students for Varenhorst.

This year’s Design Expo offered over 350 sophomore, junior and senior design students, fourth- and fifth-year architecture students, and graduate students the opportunity to discuss internships and full-time positions with nearly 100 top firms. In addition, during the open networking period, students could approach any employer’s table to pitch a project in their portfolio and network with design professionals.

“Having more than 1,100 interviews scheduled in one day speaks to the high quality of talent coming out of our design programs,” says Ainsley Maloney, associate director of industry relations at Jefferson. “Many of the companies have a strong and long-lasting relationship with the University. Almost 90 percent of the companies attending have hired a Jefferson student in the past three years for a full-time job or internship.

Students from all design-related disciplines participated in Design Expo, including: animation, architecture, architectural studies, construction management, fashion design, geospatial technology for geodesign, global fashion enterprise, graphic design communication, industrial design, interior architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surface imaging, sustainable design, textile design, textile materials technology, user experience and interaction design, and web design and development.

Graphic design communication senior Gabi Stahley had a full day planned with interviews scheduled with MOD, Catapult Learning, Push10, Designblendz, Evoke, Creative Group, GSW and Sparks. “Design Expo is such an awesome opportunity to network and meet with employers in the area,” she says.

Almost 90 percent of the companies attending have hired a Jefferson student in the past three years for a full-time job or internship.
— Ainsley Maloney

Seeking a full-time position in lighting and furniture design, senior John Cecil looked forward to speaking with SG Companies, HOK and Gensler at the March 21 event held in the Gallagher Center.

“It’s a great place to improve your conversation and interview skills with professionals,” the industrial design student says.

On the other side of the table, firms often rave about the connections made at Design Expo. For example, Shannon Geddes, university relations partner for talent acquisition at QVC, frequently hires summer interns from the fashion design program as a direct result of the event.

Michael Graves Architecture and Design attended Design Expo for the first time, but the company has hired several alumni over the years—including architectural designer Kevin King ’18. He enjoyed meeting all the emerging talent from the University and recruiting for architectural designer, interior designer and technical architect positions.

“This year may be the largest representation of alumni ever, with close to 100 alumni in attendance,” Maloney notes. “I love fielding calls from alumni who want to come back to hire. For some, Design Expo stands out as a pivotal moment from their time here at Jefferson.”

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