This year during Alumni Weekend, the Class of 2009 is celebrating their five year reunion. We thought we’d ask Kristen Freeland, CCAS BA ’09 a few questions about her experience both as a reunion volunteer and a GW alumna. Kristen was in the Columbian College Interior Design Program, and currently works as the Design Manager at Hilton Worldwide.
Describe your role as a Reunion Committee volunteer.
I joined the Reunion Committee as a volunteer because I decided it was time to give back to GW. Our team of volunteers, along with the Alumni Office staff, collaborated on ideas to make this year’s five-year reunion the best one yet! I’ll be relying on my background in interior and event design to help create a beautiful space for our class to reconnect and celebrate—making it truly a night to remember.
How has being a GW volunteer impacted you personally?
It’s been great working with other classmates and building excitement around our upcoming reunion. I’ve had the opportunity to work with classmates, as well as engage some of my friends to get involved and join the committee. I’m so excited for the reunion—this volunteer experience has brought me closer to my alma mater and I’m excited to get more involved with the alumni network in the future.
What does being a GW alumna mean to you?
Being part of an amazing network of ambitious and accomplished people. I met some of my closest friends and advisors at GW and continue to build on the relationships that started during my time at the university. I am so excited for my upcoming five year reunion and the chance to connect with friends, old and new.
What advice do you have for current GW students?
Take advantage of every opportunity—whether it’s a foreign language class, campus organization, travel abroad experience or simply the possibility of friendship with people from all over the world. GW offers far more than one can fit into four years but cram in as much as you can!
How did your education from the Columbian College (specifically the Interior Design program) help shape your career path?
My educational experience was two-fold. There was, of course, the curriculum and coursework, but equally significant was the real-world exposure to the professional design industry. I credit my professor and advisor, Nancy T. Evans, who pushed all of us to work just as hard outside of the design studio as we did in it. We attended design tradeshows and professional networking events, volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and started interning at design firms and showrooms as early as sophomore year. It was at GW I learned that a designer is always a student because there is always a new project, product or technique to discover. In my current role as Design Manger at Hilton Worldwide, I rely on many of the skills I gained at GW but, more than anything, it’s that I am always learning.