Committed to mentoring students

March 22, 2016
Many of the experts on our team eagerly make time in their busy schedule to spend with students and make it more than just an event. We understand the importance of mentoring, sharing our passion, and giving students of all ages a glimpse into our exciting and fulfilling profession. INVISION role models can be found in elementary classrooms, working with STEM and ACE groups, as well as guest lecturing and providing professional critiques in art, architecture and interior design in college classes.

Competition is motivating. Giving back is rewarding. 

This year, Holly Pohlmeier and I mentored the student high school ACE team that was selected as a finalist in a national design competition sponsored by the Construction Industry Round Table (CIRT). Watching them thrive in a competitive situation motivated us as mentors to give all we could to guide their success. Equally rewarding was the opportunity to invest in a student’s future. At the finale event for ACE mentoring in Central Iowa this school year, Holly addressed students in a keynote, and then presented a $1,000 INVISION-sponsored scholarship to a graduating student aspiring for a career in the building industries. – Mike Dean, Intern Architect

It only takes one role model to make a difference. Be the one.

When visiting Peet Junior High during their Tiger Time” to talk about architecture as a career, I thought of my own 7th grade teacher — the one who introduced me to architecture and encouraged me to take an interest. In working with the students that day, I was reminded of how smart kids are: What computer programs do you use? I’m in robotics and we use Revit.” And how curious they are: Do you invent new materials? I like buildings NOT made out of brick.” And how important flexibility in the workplace is to younger generations: Do you HAVE to sit in an office from 8 – 5?” And that they are already thinking about serious matters: How much money do you make?” When mentoring for the Waterloo Schools Girls in STEM Program with Maggie Dougherty and Sammie Henke, we get that same kind of enthusiasm and interest. Bottom line, it’s always fun to talk to kids about architecture. I know, personally, that it only takes one adult to notice your skills and make an impact. – Kristina Mehman, Architect

College students appreciate more than professional skill mentoring — they get life mentoring, too.

Each semester, I have the opportunity to be a guest lecturer in the Professional Practices classes for juniors and senior interior design students at Iowa State University. Instead of design concepts and applications, the focus is on real-life information that prepares the students to effectively navigate, secure careers, and thrive in the professional realm. Our straight-forward discussion touches on important aspects like interviewing do’s and don’ts, effectively assessing compensation packages and distinguishing between base salary, insurance options and retirement policies. While these topics may seem lackluster, the students relish the sense of preparedness they have afterwards. The informal dialogue allows students a candid discussion from an employer’s standpoint to address current questions and challenges they face in their transition from student to professional. – Julie Stegeman, Interior Designer

When done right, CD sets paint such a big picture, and get ridiculously complicated.

I’ve become used to the details of a good construction document (CD) set, it’s like second nature to me. When sharing a set with a Design V class of interior design students who made construction documents for their healthcare project, it reminded me how powerful they can be. The vision and story of how that building will impact people through design can be shared visually through the details of the CDs. Talking about it created many great questions and it was an eye opener for the students, and me!
– Angie Nees, Interior Designer