Design Career Services offers specialized programs and services to help design students develop lifelong skills in career development. Through one-on-one meetings, events, and a variety of resources, the office facilitates connections with employers and helps students develop their professional materials and skills.
Design Career Services is located in room 297 on the second floor of the College of Design, within the Student Services and Programs Office. It is open Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM during the academic year and 8 AM to 4 PM during breaks.
Schedule an appointment
Students and alumni are encouraged to schedule an appointment for assistance with resumes, portfolios, job and internship searches, interview preparation, networking, and more. View available appointment times on CyHire or Navigate, or email Design Career Services with days and times that work for you.
Career services and resources include:
The following services are available to undergraduate and graduate students. Many resources are also available to alumni of the College of Design.
- One-on-one appointments with students and alumni to assist with resumes, portfolios, job and internship seeking, interview preparation, networking, career paths, and more
- Events to facilitate connections with employers (see our upcoming events calendar for future events)
- Presentations, club visits, and class visits
- CyHire, an online system with job and internship postings, ISU event information, and employer profiles (log in with ISU single sign-on)
- Connections to career-related resources, free to sign up using an Iowa State email address
Resources to get started
The resources in this section are for use in your job or internship search. Appointments with Design Career Services are also encouraged for additional resources, advice, and support. To schedule an appointment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organizations recruiting Iowa State students for professional positions and internships post opportunities on CyHire. You may search for positions, set automated searches, upload your resume, and view career fair information, company presentations, and more. Please review information in your profile to receive accurate information about opportunities.
ISU Career Fair dates (Plan to attend Design Career Fairs as well as fairs hosted by other colleges!)
GoinGlobal provides location-specific career and employment information for 40 countries, 30 international cities, and 50 U.S. locations. This includes worldwide internship and job postings, work permit and visa information, top employers by location, local nonprofits, cultural considerations related to job searching, helpful information when visiting or living in an area, and a database of U.S. employers that have provided sponsorship for H-1B visas.
Research and networking
Professional associations, events, the Design Career Fair, other ISU career fairs, firm websites, chambers of commerce, LinkedIn, and volunteer experiences may all be valuable resources in your search. Look at professional association websites and reach out to professional connections to build your network. Additional resources: Get more out of networking (recorded webinar, presented by Danny Beyer ’16, courtesy of the ISU Alumni Association).
A resume quickly communicates your qualifications to a potential employer for the purpose of gaining an interview. Resumes should be organized, clear, and concise. You may use different versions of your resume depending on the intended audience and position. For example, resumes submitted for design positions, non-design positions, or graduate school admission may vary in content.
Success with your job search is largely dependent on your ability to communicate professionally and effectively by email, by telephone, in writing, and in person during interviews. Cover letters introduce your qualifications and interest related to the employer and position.
Applicants should expect to provide three or more professional references during the application process. References should be people who will speak positively about your work and qualifications, and should be asked before you provide their name and contact information to a prospective employer. Sharing your resume and descriptions of positions you are seeking will help them prepare to respond.
Students in design programs will be expected to show a portfolio or work samples when applying for positions and internships. A portfolio is a collection of work that visually communicates your design skills and experience. Your portfolio should include your strongest work and only high-quality images. Presentation should be thoughtful and clear. Formats include web sites, PDF documents, and printed work in books or cases.
Practice and preparation make a big difference! When interviewing, be prepared to address qualifications sought in the job description, demonstrate knowledge about the employer and their projects, ask sincere questions, speak about your experiences and qualifications, and present your portfolio.
Interview preparation resources
- Big Interview offers videos, tools to practice, immediate feedback, help developing responses, negotiation tips, playbooks for addressing different challenges and circumstances in interviewing, and more. Students, create a free account using your ISU email address. Alumni may request free access.
- Mock interviews are offered by Design Career Services staff. Please email email@example.com to schedule. Include your resume and the position description (if available).
- Salary range information can be found using several sources. Design Career Services reports salaries for students’ first destinations after graduation, and other resources for salary research can be found online. Some sources include: Educate to Career, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Coroflot Design Salary Guide, AIA Compensation Salary Survey Calculator, Payscale.com, and/or CNN Money to compare cost of living between two cities.
- LinkedIn Learning includes videos covering interviews, negotiation, attire, job offers, navigating multiple offers, declining offers, and much more related to job seeking, starting a new position, and work. (FREE, just log in with your ISU email address and search.)
It is always appropriate to ask for job offers in writing and for time to consider the offer.
Offers should include your possible title, start date, salary, and benefits. Health insurance, personal time off (vacation, sick leave, etc), company culture (values, practices, attitudes, customs, etc), promotion opportunities, opportunities to do certain types of work, travel, salary, and location are some considerations when evaluating job or internship offers.
- LinkedIn Learning includes videos covering job offers, navigating multiple offers, declining offers, and more.
Salary negotiation is common and expected. Be sure to back up your request with information (typical ranges for the location, job) and qualifications that warrant an amount higher than the offer. There may also be other factors that are negotiable. Resources:
Career fairs and events
Design Career Services offers multiple opportunities for students to meet directly with employers throughout the year, including two large annual events: Design Conversations and Connections and the Design Career Fair.
In addition, the office can assist students leading up to the event with preparing their materials and speaking with the organizations, businesses, and individuals who attend to recruit.
Ask questions or request information
Exploring college opportunities is a big deal, and we are here to support you along every step of the way!
Career Services Director
A Cyclone in the Making
Find your place at Iowa State University’s College of Design, where we like to ask questions, poke and prod, create something new, and make a difference through design.