On the evening of November 13th, Ball State University’s Interior Design Alliance held their eighth annual Roundtables event. Seven design professionals from the Indiana design community came together with students to discuss their experience in the design field. Professionals in attendance were Bridget Fisk from Monument Construction, Chris Roush from Sims Lohman, Janet Fick from Ball State University’s Construction Management Department, Gary Birk from Ball State University’s Department of Technology, Michele Adcock from Louisville Tile, Vanessa Sanders from Dan Binford and Associates, and Dan Stephenson from Ball State University’s Facilities Planning and Management Department.

The format for the evening was three breakout sessions of a half hour in length. In each session, students could choose between two topics, allowing them to customize their learning experience. Topics covered by the speakers ranged from design trends of 2013 to the experience of a recent Ball State University graduate. The speaker in each session spoke for 20 minutes on their topic, and then allowed some time for students to ask questions. At the end of the event, the professionals stayed to speak individually with students and answer any other questions they may have. This time also provided students the opportunity to network with the professionals and discuss internship and job opportunities.

This annual event has proven to be a beneficial experience for both students and design professionals. It is a great venue for design professionals to come and connect with students about their creative practice. The sessions assist students in understanding the different areas and types of design opportunities that pertain to the Interior Design major, as well as expand on students networking skills. This event is one of many ways the Interior Design Alliance connects our students with professionals in our community.