Suzanne Nordstrom

Interior Design

Associate Professor
The Illinois Institute of Art — Schaumburg

Suzanne Nordstrom

My advice to students for their future careers is to always have a good work ethic. Suzanne Nordstorm , Associate Professor , The Illinois Institute of Art — Schaumburg

What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

The defining moment when I knew I would become a professional hospitality designer was when I interned with a resort design company. This launched a career that allowed me to travel and experience the turn-key hospitality niche.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?

I believe college professors should have experience in the niche in which they are teaching. Anticipatory activities are a key approach to my teaching methods, allowing students a sneak peek into the industry. This also allows students to connect their own experiences to their education.

Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

I obtained a master’s degree in education to embrace methods in the classroom. I believe in student-centered learning and a variety of approaches in the classroom to embrace different learners.

What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

Cross-curriculum collaboration allows students to work with other trades as they will in the industry.

In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

My advice to students for their future careers is to always have a good work ethic. Be professional, timely, respectful and learn to work well with others. Try not to allow all of the worlds distractions get in the way of what you are trying to obtain.