Emerging Professional SEGD Members: Benefitting from Mentorship

Read Time: 6 minutes

SEGD is wrapping up “Membership March” by introducing you to some of our emerging professional members: college interns and recent graduates who are just beginning their careers in the field of experiential graphic design. Get to know Shraddha Bedmutha, Colleen Connolly, Bhawika Mishra, Angella Osinde, Helen Shaw, and Claudia Tinta. Learn how they are benefitting from SEGD membership—and maybe be inspired to mentor other up-and-coming designers at your own firm.

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Shraddha Bedmutha

  • Education: FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology)
  • Degree: BA in Exhibition and Experience Design
  • Position: Designer with Entro Communications (New York, NY)
  • Areas of Practice: Branding and Environmental Design
     

I first learned about SEGD through my school, FIT, and as a student I participated in SEGD’s

design competitions. Membership allows me to participate in a lot of SEGD’s events and talks, both virtual and in-person. It is a great way to understand the field of experiential graphic design in depth, get familiar with design trends and practices, and network with industry professionals and mentors.

SEGD's Career Fair helped me get in touch with some of the leading firms from all over the country and provide a chance to connect with people who I otherwise wouldn’t have met. I am thankful that the career event connected me to Entro and enabled me to embark on my professional journey.

SEGD also helps me understand the design profession through a new lens—to think about design holistically and beyond just aesthetics—how even a small element can be impactful and create a big change. SEGD has also helped me to be more inclusive and empathetic and to build connections within our community.

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Colleen Connolly

  • Education: Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Degree: BFA Graphic Design
  • Position: Graphic Designer with the Penn Museum (University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology)
  • Areas of Practice: Graphic Design and Placemaking
     

At the Penn Museum I am designing marketing materials and placemaking proposals that will bolster our brand recognition on UPenn campus and beyond. My design practice for the past three years has existed in a fluid space between design and museum studies, so I feel like this new position is a great new challenge after my thesis project and my Fulbright Arts Research Grant.

I first learned about SEGD when I was a sophomore at VCUarts Graphic Design Department. One of my favorite professors, Jamie Mahoney, taught a lesson on the introduction of wayfinding design as a discipline in her History of Design class. After class I stopped her and said I was really taken by everything she mentioned during the lecture. Was this really something a graphic designer could do as a career? She pointed me immediately towards SEGD for more information. I signed up for the SEGD Richmond Chapter as a Student Member soon after!

SEGD has had a huge impact on my career, mainly as a place of encouragement and community. For example, when my project was selected to appear at the the SEGD 2021 Academic Summit, I was floored not only by the recognition, but the pages of kind notes and critiques that the judges’ panel gave back to me. As a recent graduate (during a pandemic, no less), it was energizing to hear direct support from experienced designers that I respect. It's rare to have that kind of closeness in professional groups, but SEGD has always impressed me with their outreach to young designers.

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Bhawika Mishra

  • Education: FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology)
  • Degree: MA in Exhibition and Experience Design
  • Position: Designer with Two Twelve (New York, NY)
  • Areas of Practice: Wayfinding and Placemaking
     

I first learned about SEGD through my grad school FIT. It is through FIT that I became a SEGD student member, and since then, the journey with SEGD has been incredible with lots of learning and growth.

Getting acquainted with SEGD during my grad school years gave me a way to grow as a experience designer through the resources, events, and networking opportunities that SEGD provides and to become fully a part of the SEGD community. Membership has been a phenomenal growth opportunity, not only in my career, but also in my passion for design.

I started as a student member; then chose to volunteer in the 2020 E+E event as a moderator; then got selected for the 2021 SEGD Global Design Award jury; then interned with SEGD for five months; then became the SEGD NYC Chapter co-chair.

As an international student, with no connection in the USA, SEGD became my go to community providing ways to navigate the design field. The community has been so supportive and welcoming, and I have formed some meaningful connections with industry members. I am now working with the FIT Student group, which kind of makes it a full circle.

When I think about the membership, the first benefit that comes to mind is the community! I found my current job at Two Twelve through the SEGD job listings, where I’m learning about digital signage design and fabrication techniques.

One of the main reasons that I love my membership is the design work that SEGD member firms do and how well curated the events are that speak to current times, challenges and adaptability and inclusion..

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Angella Osinde

  • Education: Mississippi State University
  • Degree: BA in Fine Art with a minor in Computer Science
  • Position: Intern with SEGD (Washington, DC)
  • Areas of Practice: Graphic Design
     

I learned about SEGD through the “Where Are The Black Designers” (WATBD) web page this past January. 

SEGD has allowed me to tap into an organization that features the top designers across the globe. I also get to learn about SEGD’s cool projects! I do feel that the membership has been beneficial. 

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Helen Shaw

  • Education: The University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Degree: Currently MFA student, Museum Exhibition Planning + Design
  • Position No 1: Intern with SEGD (Washington, DC)
  • Position No 2: Freelance Designer with Science History Institute (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Area of Practice: Exhibition Design
     

Dear fellow SEGD members: My name is Helen Shaw, and I'm currently in my last semester in The University of the Arts' MFA program for Museum Exhibition Planning + Design. I'm an emerging museum professional investigating how to leverage sound in art museums for my thesis, which I will be defending in April 2022.

I'm very excited to have recently started interning with the wonderful team at SEGD! I'm also working with the Science History Institute as a freelance designer, creating a layout for an upcoming show about rare earth elements with Anna Mlasowsky, Haas Fellow and Artist-In-Residence.

I first learned about SEGD through my phenomenal Program Director, Stephanie Reyer. SEGD has influenced my practice as an exhibition designer and has helped me appreciate how experiential graphic design is advancing the field.

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Claudia Tinta

  • Education: FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology)
  • Degree: MA in Exhibition and Experience Design
  • Position: Junior 3D Designer with Set Creative | WPP (New York, NY)
  • Areas of Practice: Experiential Branded Environments + Activations
     

I graduated last December from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a Master of Arts in Exhibition and Experience Design. My undergraduate studies were in architecture at the University at Buffalo. 

I learned about SEGD through my education at the Fashion Institute of Technology. The program allowed me to connect to many professionals in Exhibition and Experience Design, many who participate in SEGD. 

SEGD is highly beneficial for young professionals who are looking to participate in and become a part of a VERY supportive community of creatives. SEGD offers workshops and events that benefit professional growth, whether through learning about real life applications of design trends and innovative technology or through mentorship by experienced designers in the exhibition and experience design field.

The student chapter is also a very good way to work with fellow students and professionals in the industry. Last year, I participated in and was awarded the SEGD Student Scholarship. After attending the XLAB conference, I created a video describing some of the takeaways of the conference which are still very influential and relevant as a practicing designer. These include empathy to understand people's experiences and the importance of inclusive design and optimizing for real world chaos.

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Upcoming SEGD Events

2022 Wayfinding and Placemaking
2022 Branded Environments
2022 Xlab