On February 24, the University of Kentucky College of Design hosted its 5th annual career fair at The Cornerstone, a 24,000-square foot mixed-use facility that opened in November 2020.
Despite weather reports calling for an ice storm, around 30 local and regional firms gathered on the ground level of the Cornerstone, and the space was abuzz throughout the day. In addition to informational booths, firms conducted on-site interviews, and students were offered internships on the spot. Those who were unable to attend the career fair were able to upload their portfolios online for the firms to access.
One of the most popular tables was Tiffany & Co. (they operate a Lexington-based manufacturing plant.) Along with providing students with career and internship information, they gave a bracelet away to one lucky winner.
“We were so pleased with the attendance of both firms and students,” said Dean Mitzi Vernon. “Of course it was reassuring to reconnect with our extended family, and to welcome newcomers in both Architecture and Interiors – and, we were able to raise thousands of dollars for our student emergency fund.”
One member of that extended family is Jeffrey Stivers (ARC `90) of RossTarrant Architects. “Meeting students and sharing what makes our firm unique and what we have to offer is huge,” he said. “My hope is that students come away with an understanding of who we are and how our educationally-focused practice drives our mission.” RossTarrant Architects has been part of the career fair since its inception, and Stivers greatly enjoys chatting with soon-to-be professionals who share his passion for design. He’s also found that those one-on-ones often leave him with a renewed sense of optimism and energy.
At the same time, Stivers expressed gratitude for the College of Design faculty and staff who helped make the event possible. “We greatly appreciate Bruce (Swetnam) reaching out to us to create stronger relationships between the College of Design and the design community. The CoD occupies a special place in our hearts…and that relationship is a gift on both sides.”
The Design Career Fair was the college’s first in-person career fair since the onset of the pandemic, and was by all accounts, a great success. In the words of Executive Assistant to the Dean, Support Staff Coordinator, and event co-organizer Charlotte Leedy, “There was terrific energy at the event. We received many positive comments on the preparedness of our students. We are so proud that they made such an excellent impression, and we look forward to the next event.”