When is the last time you called your professors?

My life would be so much easier if more of you would take pains to keep in contact with your preferred educator at wherever it was you went to school. Okay, that is the sum of my tough love lecture but seriously, it’d be great if you all would do this more often.

There are a lot of good reasons to do it, yeah, there’s all the feel good back patting but like anyone, educators need to know the positive impact they’ve made in your lives. It could be as simple as dropping a card in the mail, it will brighten their day even if they don’t remember you!

Now to the point of today’s lecture -it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find skilled workers, specifically pattern makers, graders and such. If you would like to be notified of opportunities, the first people called these days are college professors. And college professors are going to recommend former students who have kept in touch with them. Now, your situation may be such that you’re not looking for work but this can always change. Therefore, it’s best to make goodwill deposits in your favor bank in advance of need.

All due formalities dispensed with, anyone want a full time job making and grading patterns in Arizona? How about in the LA area? I’ve got two positions I’m trying to help get filled -that I’m not being paid to search for either so don’t make this difficult for me. If you’re interested, send me an email. Oh, you must be able to do tech packs, know Illustrator and while CAD isn’t required for the one job, it would be helpful (the job in Arizona will cover needed training). The job in LA requires CAD expertise, PAD preferred.

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  1. Stephanie says:

    I’m still in school and even now I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my professors. I’m hoping in a few years I’d be a candidate for patternmaking jobs like these, but I’m not sure if an AAS is enough.

  2. Patricia says:

    I contacted 2 that I liked very much. It was nice and a bit… don’t know… strange at the beginning, but it unfolded to be a very nice experience in the end.

  3. I had a double major in two instruments in college, french horn and recorder. Nowadays I’ve got myself a double life where half the time I make bike bags and half the time I’m a musician, but it’s on recorder and I don’t play horn anymore. I wasn’t really a great student in college, but I had a horn teacher who was a really wonderful guy and unbelievably patient with me (in music school, your main instrument teacher is someone you work very closely with one-on-one) who I always wished I’d kept in touch with, at least a little bit. I ran into him by chance a few months ago and we had a nice chat. At the time I was debating over whether to make a big instrument purchase. His advice was that I should go ahead and do it, and that he’d never regretted buying a good instrument.
    I did end up buying the instrument, but a month or two afterward I heard through the grapevine that he had suddenly passed away. I don’t know any details; he was a fit, healthy, vibrant guy and I have no idea how it happened. But I am so incredibly glad that I got to have that one last chance conversation with him. And I’m also glad that even though I wasn’t a particularly conscientious student, at least the last advice he ever gave me was advice that I took.

  4. I briefly touched base with an old professor of mine, she didn’t like me at all, in part because she thought I was wasting my talent by becoming a pattern maker. Anyway, when I called her, she just knew me from the book and was tremendously flattered I was calling. She wasn’t so thrilled when I connected the dots. Everybody loved her, me, not so much but still, she was formative in my career and I thanked her for it. She did take pride in my accomplishments and how it reflected on the college. I heard from another cohort that she recently died so I’m glad to have connected before then. Even if she didn’t like me, she was dedicated to the school and I was a credit to the institution so it was all okay.

  5. Trish Winstead says:

    I concur with your thoughts, Kathleen. It would make life so much easier if graduates understood the value of keeping in touch with professors. When jobs come up, it is nearly impossible for me to find past graduates. Everyone changes cell phone numbers again and again. People change their last names when they marry. And career moves take people all over the world. I would have to be a full time sleuth to find people when they are needed.

    Another aspect is that we professors do not know when graduates are looking for a change or upgrade of position. I am sure that many fine jobs have been missed by my past graduates because I could not track them down when jobs came available.

    One final note – I barely ever have a company call me and tell me that they are planning to hire a pattern maker, product developer, etc. in the future. Every company calls when they need a new employee NOW. The time to track down a prospect is not there. I have always recommended that my students send me a brief update from year to year: are you employed and content; employed and looking to upgrade; changing locations, etc. I hate to admit that in thirty years, I have yet to receive ONE such notice. Of course, some students stay in touch other ways and I am still in close contact with some students I taught as long ago as thirty years. But for current graduates who are still growing their careers, many opportunities are being lost.

  6. Lisa Bloodgood says:

    Great advice, Kathleen, as always! I’ll have to do that ASAP, as well as some other correspondence that needs to get taken care of. Part of procrastinating on that is my good computer is upstairs in my sewing room–no problem with that–but for some reason I feel isolated from the rest of the house when using it (but I don’t feel that way when I’m sewing).

  7. lenora says:

    Hi, I recently just contacted one of my teachers and she actually recommended me to check out this site. I touched base with her to see how she was , as well as to find out where can I get a good patternmaking table online and what is a good brand. Any ideas????? I want to work from home, and a big and tall one would be fantastic.

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