Student Testimonials

  • “Rob was one of the most important resources I had at Columbia. His feedback is direct and honest. Whenever I talk to him, I feel respected and supported. He makes me feel like an individual rather than a number. His presence motivated me to be my absolute best.”

    – BriElle, BFA Advertising Art Direction

  • “Rob’s encouragement and general appreciation for my work and success is something I deeply appreciate. Not only does he know what he’s talking about, offering great advice and honest perspective, but he really cares about everyone that comes into his office. Rob takes the time to get to know you, and finds the best way to help you. Advisors like Rob make you feel like your college is really rooting for you to succeed.”

    – Annie, Interdisciplinary Arts

  • “Rob’s concise career advice was by far the best. He was both kind and hard hitting and provided me with extra fire to move my career forward. He handled challenges with ease, and I got so much out of his advising sessions that I handed out his email address to many other students.”

    – Gretchen, MFA Nonfiction

  • “I admire Rob’s ability to really narrow big ideas down to much-less-overwhelming things. The way he explained the portfolio building process, from design to presentation, was done in such a way that I walked out less fearful of the process, and instead excited to go create something great!”

    – Jahaira, BA Graphic Design

  • “Rob is down-to-earth, funny, and even though he has quite some experience in the field, he gets to your level and helps you out in a way that makes the knowledge he gives you relatable to the level of experience you have, while also opening and directing you to jump in that next-level door.”

    – Julia, BFA Graphic Design

  • “I might be on a different path if it wasn’t for Rob. He made me feel good about myself and gave great feedback on how to keep pressing forward. Whenever I run into someone studying art and design at Columbia I immediately tell them to visit Rob.”

    – Matt, Illustration

  • "Rob is that rare breed who genuinely listens and will do anything in his power to help you succeed. He has a true talent for making you feel like what you think and do are not only valid, but also important. I am undoubtedly a better designer after knowing him."

    – Sarah, BFA Graphic Design

  • "Rob helped me with my portfolio, website, and talked to me about jobs where my work could be applicable, which in turn landed me a great job right out of college. The most valuable advice was about sticking with what I enjoy and continue to work hard towards my goals, even if it's not what other people want me to do."

    – Ben, BFA Graphic Design

  • "After just three meetings with Rob, I had a website that embodies professionalism. He has guided me with an objective, cool, and sincere approach to really helping me stand as an artist. When leaving his office, I feel affirmed in my professional career."

    – Alexis, Music Business

  • "Rob started helping me with my overall portfolio, and ended up helping me develop some personal projects as well as preparing for the Weisman Award (which I actually won). I liked talking with Rob because he genuinely cared and listened. Rob had many good references at hand and always tried to connect me with other people he felt could help in my career. He can see untapped potential, and helps you realize and develop it."

    – Jeremy, BFA Graphic Design

  • "What's unique about Rob is his patience and willingness to go the extra mile for students to make sure we are aware of different avenues we can take, not just in our careers but also in our personal journeys as artists. Every time I meet with Rob, I feel great because I know more than before and have a clear direction in what I need to do to succeed. When it comes to Rob, he's the best and I can tell he wants the best for us as students and creative minds."

    – Jeremy, Graphic Design

  • "I came to Rob when I was in a total bind and failing to meet expectations for a project. Although I was distressed, Rob's demeanor was sincere, proactive, and helpful in the most supportive way. Within minutes, he created an atmosphere of collaboration and worked with me to find solutions to problems that seemed insurmountable. Rob pulled out a sketch-pad, rolled up his sleeves, and jumped into my project by my side in a way that no educator has. He asked the right questions and spared any judgment. From our first meeting, it was clear that Rob is there to impact students' lives in a genuine way. "Rob didn't treat me like a student with a project; he treated me like an adult living a complete life. He helped me identify existing successes and strategize next steps to help my work grow. Rob was able to give a big picture perspective and context to the work. After two degrees and working as an educator myself, I was ready to transition out of the student role completely. However, Rob was able to slip seamlessly into a mentoring role. He is cool. He shows a genuine interest in students. He isn't hokey, condescending, or going through the motions. I'm really glad I had a chance to work with Rob Funderburk."

    – Kelsey, MAM Business & Entrepreneurship

  • "I visited Rob in my freshmen year and showed him some work. He immediately gave me insightful, considerate, and constructive feedback, and I’ve been visiting him ever since. He's a big picture kind of guy; he sees how a product or service plays out in a larger economy and more importantly how to accent the strengths and compensate for the weaknesses."
  • "Rob has helped me so much — from critiquing my website and helping me communicate more effectively, to sharing personal anecdotes and guiding me as I move on my artistic path. I have recommended so many students to meet with him; I feel like Rob legitimately cares about us students. It's nice to have an extremely down-to-earth professional mentor to talk to. Rob is so genuine and refreshing."

    – Kayla, BFA Fine Art

  • "Rob sat down with me and right away helped me align my skills and experience in a story I can tell about myself to prospective employers, fellow students, and a community of creatives. It's clear that Rob follows his students, can mentor them in the long term, and doesn't have a standard 'script' or anything that he sticks to and tells each student. I have come back to him at various points in my schooling and career, and he has been able to give me feedback that's appropriate for the time and conditions. It’s clear to me that Rob is growing and learning himself, and I think that is a very important quality in a teacher/mentor/person at a college career development office."

    – Matthew, Arts Management

  • "My work as a poetry major and art student has grown through Rob's help. He is amazing in giving feedback, sharing ideas, pushing students to do better, and is an overall great instructor. I learned not only how to build a portfolio and website, but how to showcase my work and share my creative passion with others in a professional manner, and build my self-esteem. It is a very great privilege to say Rob has impacted my life within two years of meeting and working with him."

    – Miguel, BA Creative Writing

  • "Aside from Rob's thorough knowledge and resourcefulness, he exhibits a charismatic and intimate personality, allowing for easy conversation and a fluid progression of ideas. I sensed Rob's high level of investment in my work and ongoing projects, and Rob reached out to me personally after our meetings to check in and see how my endeavors were progressing. Rob's ability to identify with my creative pursuits was extremely beneficial in my own understanding of my work, helping me to move various projects from concept to execution. Whether dealing with specific projects, career trajectory, or creative networking and integration, I highly recommend Rob for consultation. He is a strong thinker, full of talent, and has a commitment to helping other artists realize their creative pursuits."

    – Daniel, MFA Poetry

  • "Rob took the time to understand my work and career aspirations before offering advice, and the guidance I received from him was very beneficial. But more importantly, it was genuine and clearly came from a place of caring. Rob was very honest with his feedback and offered practical solutions. I always felt comfortable asking him for help with my portfolio and job search."

    – Lauren, BFA Graphic Design

  • The first time I met with Rob I was in my first year at Columbia as a transfer student going into my junior year. At the time, I didn't even know what branding was, and he showed me how to properly brand and why it was important for me to have this in my portfolio. I appreciated how frank he was, and could trust that what he was telling me was truthful. He helped me understand what I needed, and what direction I should head towards from there.

    Rob helped me understand that my next step was to start figuring out what type of design was right for me and where I could see myself working. I still didn't have the confidence in myself and design work to try and apply for jobs right after I graduated. My goal was to go back to community college and just keep learning more on design and motion graphics. But Rob encouraged me to apply for jobs, helped me figure out where to do so, and what I should do next to help decide the type of design I would want to pursue. He gave me great feedback on my website, and now I have a better understanding of the formatting I need to do to have it make more sense. Rob is super helpful! He will give you a million tips, from simple things like computer shortcuts to bigger factors, such as cool places to apply. There is definitely a lot I still need to accomplish, but I can finish this year up with confidence that I'm going to get hired after I graduate.

    – Kathryn, BFA Graphic Design

  • "Rob helped me in a very critical stage in a comic I was developing. I spent a long time thinking about the bumps in the road I could not get over or figure out. He showed me how comics are made and several examples of indie comics, and made everything very simple and engaging. I am far more proficient at getting my comics published now. I love talking with him; he is very inspiring and makes you want to do better in your work. If you have any problems, he can tell you several ways to solve them and does it in fun ways so it doesn't seem hard."

    – Amber, BFA Cinema Arts & Sciences