Women in Design: Transitioning from School to the Business of Design

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Whipsaw and WID have partnered to create a virtual event that guides the young design community from school into the business world.

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Many industrial design students excel in academia but find the transition to the professional world challenging. They either struggle to get in the door after graduation or lack the tools to thrive in the business of design once they do.

Whipsaw and Women in Design have partnered to create an exciting virtual event dedicated to guiding the young design community through this critical time.

In this one-hour virtual panel discussion, our female industry experts will review how to create an impressive portfolio, find a niche, collaborate effectively, and understand client needs.

This is a fantastic opportunity for both design students and professionals alike to hear what top industry experts are currently looking for in new hires, and what advice they have on how to flourish in a team setting.

Our highly regarded panelists come from a diverse blend of backgrounds and specialties with experience in both the corporate and consultancy arenas. Join the conversation with Jillian Tackaberry, MNML Senior Industrial Designer, Jordan Bahler, IDSA Chapter Director on the Board of Directors, and Verena Paepcke-Hjeltness, IDSA Education Director and Board Member/Assistant Professor of Industrial Design at Iowa State University.

While the event is free to attend, tickets are limited. Please RSVP to guarantee your spot.


Jillian Tackaberry

Jillian Tackaberry is a Senior Industrial Designer at MNML in Chicago. She joined MNML in 2014 after winning the Midwest Student Merit award. Since then, she has collaborated with large brands and smaller start-ups to create meaningful products and experiences in categories including furniture, housewares, footwear, medical and tech. As a designer, she excels at taking on new challenges and creating meaningful details. She believes that the key to successful design relies on empathy and engaging in effective collaboration.

Jordan Bahler

Jordan Bahler graduated from Purdue University as the student merit award winner in Industrial Design with a minor in Computer Graphics Technology. As a student, Bahler completed a 5-session co-op with the Delta Faucet Company, then took a job in the automotive safety industry at IMMI after graduation. Several years later she returned to Delta Faucet Company. During the next seven years Bahler designed hundreds of faucets and products for both Delta and Brizo including the Litze collection for Brizo, one of their top selling suites. Bahler was the design team leader for the Masco product team as well, traveling often to their headquarters in Ontario, Canada. Bahler left Delta as a senior industrial designer in August 2019 to take on her most challenging title yet, “mom.” Though on design hiatus, Bahler served on the Design Arts Society board at the Indianapolis Museum of Arts until it’s dissolution this past summer and serves as the current Chapter Director on the Board of Directors for the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA). Bahler has over 90 patents, served on the IDEA jury 2017-18, and taught corporate sponsorships with Purdue and MIAD ID students, Bahler can’t shake the design bug. So what’s next? The limit does not exist.

Verena Paepcke-Hjeltness, IDSA

Education Director and Board Member 2020/2022

Assistant Professor of Industrial Design at Iowa State University.

Verena has worked both in Germany and the U.S. as an industrial designer with a focus on aviation and transportation design. She has been an educator for more than 15 years, teaching in Germany and the U.S. at The Ohio State University, Savannah College of Art and Design, Drexel University, University of Texas at Austin and Iowa State University. Verena's research focuses on the diffusion of design thinking and doing practices in design and non-design-oriented disciplines, with a focus on exploring visualization as a gateway to creative confidence and design-ability. She frequently facilitates workshops on sketchnoting, design thinking and strategic planning in both academia and industry.

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