If I could give only one piece of advice to new designers, it would be to get involved with our industry associations. The exposure to new ideas and inspiration, education on products and design guidance, and the friendship of colleagues has expanded my mind and network more than I could have ever done myself.
When I was a new designer starting out in these associations, I never could have anticipated the leadership opportunities that would come my way. My secondary piece of advice looking back would be to start out working on a committee, then head that committee. Follow that with a position in chapter leadership in an area that interests and suits you. Before you know it, you’ll have mastered a host of new skills and may be asked to become President, like I have been for the NKBA Manhattan Chapter.
After two years as President of the NKBA Manhattan chapter, I was selected by NKBA to continue to volunteer as part of the Chapter Leadership Council for another two years, taking my experience as a Chapter President into this leadership role. I know I have a lot to offer in this association and look forward to doing so.
The position of Chapter President has also given me the opportunity to meet and mentor other rising stars of our industry. As an association we’ve encouraged, and seen recognized, several of our design community awarded as NKBA 30 Under 30 for several years now. We had 3 just last year! If there is anything that inspires, it’s that feeling that our industry shines a light on new and upcoming leaders.
I’m grateful to the NKBA for allowing me to grow in this way, and I have a feeling that more growth is ahead of me. As I always tell our members, as a solo-preneur in business, NKBA has also been my office break room and has allowed me to collaborate and have a community. It’s been an honor to serve and I look forward to being able to continue to do so as Chapter Leader.
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