IDSA Merit awards

IDSA’s northeast conferences are comming up. Every year they have the presentations from each school’s merit award winners. But I wanted to know how this awards is viewed in the professional community.

any pros out there care to comment.

how does a nomination for this award look on a resume?

…anything which sets you apart is a good thing.

a nomination is not really anything to note.
most schools encourage all willing students to present their projects so they can get chosen for a merit award.

I don’t knowhow true it is, but someone on here once said something to the effect of -
a merit award winner from a somewhat reputable school would generally atleast get a first interview at most places.

from what I’ve heard from others, different schools have different approaches as to how they go about choosing a merit award winner.

one of my coworkers was simply picked by the faculty at her school then asked to submit her presentation later.

at my school everyone interested submitted a presentation, faculty picked 3-4 finalists who then presented for a group of about 5 professionals who then chose the winner.
-most of our schools finalists make some mention of it on their resume

The process for picking Student Merit Award winners is:

  1. Students with a certain GPA (I forget the exact number).
  2. The students present to professionals that have agreed to be judges.
  3. The judges choose the student.

If this is not happening in some schools, we need to know about it.

I have been a judge for the past 5 years. The professionals that I have done this with have taken it very seriously. Normally it took an hour of discussion, sometimes longer.

Many students that win this award have been recruited at the IDSA District Conferences for their first job. I can’t say it means something to everyone, but it definately means something to many.

Tim Fletcher
IDSA Chapter VP

1 week later, none one really cares.

Of ALL the designers that work at top ten ID firms in the country, how many are IDSA merit badge winners? 7?

WTF is IDSA and WHOTF do they think they are anyway? actually…lets not get THAT started…

I usually spend a little more time reviewing the work of the merit winners but it is not among the most important elements I look for.

OK worst case if you compete in a merit award…

1- It forces you to organize your work before you graduate.
2- You get to practice talking about your work in front of a group of pros.
3- If you win, you get to put it on your resume.
4- You then get to present again in front of an even larger group of pros at the regional level.
5- If you win at the regional level, your work and NAME are now in front of many more pros at the National IDSA confernce.

So, even if you hate IDSA, it makes sense to give it a try. If you participate in the merit awards, you and your work have been seen by more people than if you did not try. Plus, being able to talk about your work in front of a large group makes an interview seem small and easy.

IDSA is about connections and support for Designers. Use it.

Merit award was a good thing in my case. I represented my school at the Northeastern conference in 2005. Didn’t win, but whatever…at the end of the night I presented I had an interview set up and several leads( didn’t get the job, but people saw my work). Because I was from NY state, Copesetic paid for me and all of the other Merit award kids from NY state to go to the National IDSA conference (I wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise)…and at the National conference I met even more people and as a result of it all I work at a place that I love.

I’m not amazing, so I needed all the help I could get to find a good job, and Merit award helped out A LOT.

^^^ that was me.


Good thing you mentioned the process. At San Jose State, the jerk who runs the program picks the Merit Award winner all by himself, no input whatsoever from anyone. The guy is a tirant control-freak and the only way to be selected is to be his pet.