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Giving Back Through Student Mentoring

Here at Bialek we're always striving to make the spaces we curate ones that "Pioneer" towards a greater version of what it means to work - but it doesn't just stop at an external level. Internally, our own team members carry these same principles of innovation - and mentorship!

Tina Li Mentoring Interview

Tina Li, our Commercial Design Manager, "Pioneers" everyday in her design work - but outside of office hours, she continues to take an elevated interest in the future of her field through up-and-comers - a.k.a students! Student mentoring through IIDA (International Interior Design Association) has been a great opportunity to inspire young designers and even make connections for potential employment opportunities in the future.

Read below how Tina got involved and what it's meant to her throughout her experiences uplifting the next generation!

1. How did you get involved with student-mentoring?

As an IIDA member, you receive regular email updates from IIDA National. There was a great interview of another interior designer mentor, Zane Land, who shared her experiences mentoring through their annual program.

2. What are your favorite parts of being a student mentor?

I love connecting with students and hearing about their passions. Being a design student was such a wonderful time where you simply want to absorb as much as possible. While I am only one possible career path, I hope to be able to share what I wish I had known before entering the professional world of design. Students should know that their design education is unique and prepares them for a wide variety of career opportunities, not just interior design.

3. As a mentor, what are you seeing design students most interested in (trends, issues, visions, concepts, etc.)?

Design students are always most curious about what a professional day-to-day is like. The IIDA mentorship program was well structured with specific topic ideas for each session but I would strongly encourage students to not be afraid to ask about anything that comes to mind. I was a bit hesitant last year to sign up since the program was completely virtual (due to the obvious). However, I was excited by the opportunity to be paired up with students across the nation rather than just in my area. This allowed a glimpse into parts of the country that I never would have had contact with otherwise.

Contact your local IIDA Chapter for more information! Mid-Atlantic IIDA Chapter