Student helping to organize industrial design conference on campus

Student Spotlight
Hannah Abele, second-year, industrial design

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Second-year student Hannah Abele is a co-coordinator for this year’s Thought at Work conference.

Hannah Abele is a second-year industrial design major. She is a co-coordinator for this year’s Thought at Work industrial design student conference, which features presentations, workshops, panel discussions and a portfolio review with professionals in the design industry. The conference starts today and runs through Sunday, Oct. 20. For more information on Thought at Work or to register for the event, go to

Question: Where are you from?
Answer: I am from Harrisburg, Pa.

Q: What brought you to RIT?
A: I loved what I saw of the industrial design program and the opportunities it offered. I also loved the feel of the campus and instantly felt at home here.

Q: What have been some of your favorite memories at RIT?
A: Aside from Thought at Work, my favorite RIT memories so far have probably been all of the cool stuff I’ve gotten to do working for the College Activities Board. I’ve also had a year’s worth of adventures with Art House since I’m a member and most of my best friends live there.

Q: What is Thought at Work?
A: Thought at Work is an on-campus design conference that is run every year, entirely by students for students. It consists of lectures and workshops centered on industrial and interaction design held by professionals currently working in the field.

Q: What is your role with the event?
A: I am one of the co-coordinators of the conference, along with Kyle Sheth and Vedant Swarup. We are basically the head event planners so we organize the team and make sure everything comes together to make this event the best it can be.

Q: How did you first get involved with Thought at Work?
A: A month before last year’s conference I walked in as a freshman volunteer, not really knowing what I was getting myself into. I just wanted to get involved on campus but I ended up learning a lot, loving it and finding out I was pretty good at it.

Q: What is one thing about this event that you are really looking forward to?
A: I’m particularly looking forward to the Portfolio Review event on Friday night. We’ll have professional designers giving one-on-one reviews to students who come with their design portfolios. Everyone who doesn’t come with a portfolio will be treated to an informational session on how to make a portfolio in the future.

Q: What makes Thought at Work unique?
A: It is a great learning opportunity outside of what you’d learn by just being in the classroom. It will give attendees insight into the design world from people that are currently working in it. Plus, you’ll get to network with design students from different schools.