SEGD and Me: Hansa Hatrote

Hear from SEGD Member Hansa Hatrote about their journey with SEGD:

Joining a professional membership organization was a pivotal step for me as a student. Thankfully, SEGD was introduced as part of my MA in Exhibition and Experience Design program at FIT. Since I had just moved to New York from Mumbai, this community of designers has helped me gain professional experience beyond my program and build a robust network in a new country. 

Unlike my understanding of such memberships, SEGD provided not only a unique avenue for growth, networking, and learning but also a huge platform where students find themselves immersed in a community that fosters creativity, knowledge exchange, and professional development. We have a lot of fun at SEGD events, sharing mind-melting ideas, sketching napkin concepts and providing support to our fellow members across various events around the country! It’s always a blast to attend SEGD conferences. 

My relationship with the SEGD community has slowly transformed into a catalyst for my success. I have not only attended virtual and in-person events but also hosted and presented at many opportunities. Notably, I participated in the Academic Summit in 2023, where my thesis paper was selected. I’ve also had the pleasure of working closely with the SEGD NYC chapter, when we hosted an amazing panel discussion titled “Now, Next and New,” where we delved into engaging conversations with industry experts to prepare us for upcoming advancements in technology and how to better integrate tech into our spatial designs. The discussion went from an inspiring conversation to a student showcase from students of my cohort at FIT. These events always leave me brimming with inspiration, which as a designer is always important! 

One of the primary advantages of SEGD membership for students is the exposure to a wealth of industry knowledge and resources. The various portfolio reviews I’ve attended have massively helped me polish my work and also helped me gain a lot of confidence as I presented my work to people from various aspects and levels of the industry. These connections have gone beyond casual interactions; they evolved into meaningful relationships that opened doors to internships, job opportunities, and collaborative projects. The mentorship offered by experienced SEGD members has become an invaluable asset for me and other students, guiding us through the nuances of the industry and helping navigate the early stages of our careers. My connections with fellow SEGD members has rarely remained just a professional connection, and has always blossomed into a mentoring relationship filled with support and guidance. This is something I will always be grateful for! 

SEGD’s team works really hard to bring the best and brightest in the industry to the stage and to help the industry flourish in new ways. I have a special place in my heart for Cybelle who with her warmth and kindness has always helped me excel in my career even during turbulent times. I truly believe SEGD emerges as a cornerstone in the foundation of a successful career, empowering students like me to not only excel in their endeavors but also contribute meaningfully to the ever-evolving landscape of experiential design.