Image6During high school, Ashly Westerman developed a plan to attend Century College in White Bear Lake, MN for her generals, then to transfer to UMD to finish her Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design.

So, after finishing up at Century, Ashley transferred to UMD for Fall Semester, 2016. And she’s majoring in Graphic Design.

Just like she planned.

Ashly, who’s originally from Forest Lake, will graduate from UMD in December of 2018. and her plans after graduation would be to find a job within the graphic design field.

We asked Ashly a bunch of questions about herself AND her UMD transfer experience. Check out her story below!


What’s your favorite thing about Duluth?

“There are so many different things to do. You can never be bored! My absolute favorite thing to do in Duluth is go to Canal Park and all of the other parks around Duluth. I am really interested in photography, as well, so these places are really good spots to take pictures. Another thing I like to do in Duluth is go to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. I really like chocolate and they have the best caramel apples!”

Long exposure picture taken by Ashly of Superior Street during her photography class night time photo shoot.

Her favorite thing about UMD so far?

“UMD has the big school reputation but also has a small school feel. It’s really the best of both worlds.”

Why did you choose UMD?

“When deciding on a college, I didn’t want to go too far away from home, so I figured Duluth would be an excellent choice. I have always loved Duluth. As a child, my family would take weekend trips all the time.”

What was your transfer experience like?

“My transfer experience was probably a lot like the typical transfer student. I had been in contact with an academic advisor since my senior year of high school making sure my classes from Century College would transfer. After two years of generals and a color-coded binder of all those classes, I transferred to UMD almost seamlessly.”

Homecoming 2016 football game with Ashly’s boyfriend and roommate.

How did you feel when you arrived on campus?

“I felt a little intimidated. I didn’t know anyone and I really hadn’t had a tour of the campus. But after some time just roaming around, it wasn’t bad.”

Are you involved in any clubs/organizations?

“Yes. I am involved with SDO which stands for Student Design Organization. SDO gives students interested in design an opportunity to network with other design students and professionals, learn more about the Minnesota design scence, and work on fun collaborative design projects. We are currently working on the branding of Open Studio.”

October 2016, this piece was displayed at the Duluth Institute of Art while Shakespeare’s First Folio was on display at the Tweed Museum of Art at UMD.

Did you hear about or are you involved with any internship or job shadow opportunities?

“I have heard of multiple different opportunities but do not currently have one. I am currently searching for an internship or job in the Graphic Design field.”

Do you work on-campus or off-campus?

“Yes. I work on-campus for the Office for Students in Transition (SIT) as the Transfer Student Intern. In my role, I work with my supervisor (SIT’s Dauli Menze, who we’ve featured previously!) to plan events for the upcoming fall semester. All of these events are for new transfer students. I also help with the programs, social media, and a few other things here and there.”

What has been your favorite class so far?

“That’s a tough one. I really enjoy all of my Graphic Design classes, but if I had to choose one, it would probably be my Graphic Design 1 class.”

Do you have a favorite professor?

“There are so many different professors that I find to be really amazing professors, but by far, my favorite would have to be Professor Terresa Hardaway. I first had her for my Typography 1 class and I currently have her for my Graphic Design 1 class. She is challenging in so many different ways, but she is challenging in a good way and not in the way of making class miserable but in the way of wanting to help make you a better designer and person. She is definitely someone that inspires me to do better and pursue my dreams.”

Ashy with some new friends she met during the School of Fine Arts (SFA) Gallery Hop this last fall.


What has been your best memory at UMD so far?

“My favorite memory at UMD would definitely be the moment that I received the email that I passed my portfolio review. Three years of planning and hard work had led up to that moment and I remember the exact moment that I read that email. I was sitting in the library with two of my roommates that I had met just three days before and instantly started crying of happiness.”

Were you involved in Transfer Student Connect?

“I was not involved with Transfer Student Connect, but wish that I was. I would definitely recommend that every transfer student get involved with it!

Ashly holding her baby cousin while checking out the Tall Ships Festival in Duluth last August.

What would you have done differently when choosing a college?

“I honestly do not think I would have done anything different. I am really happy with where I am at with my college career.”

What was your biggest fear about transferring and how did you overcome it?

“The only campus tour that I got was in my senior year of high school, so when I came to campus two years later, I didn’t remember where anything was. I overcame this by convincing my roommate to spend a few hours with me just kind of roaming around campus to find stuff since neither of us knew where anything was.”

Do you have any advice for other students who are transferring to UMD?

“Definitely take time to find your classes ahead of time. You don’t want to be struggling to find them at the last minute.”