Interior Design Student Profile
Name: Allison Bradford
Anticipated Graduation Year: 2015
How and why did you choose your major?
Growing up I loved rearranging my room and picking out new furniture and paint colors. After attending UW- Eau Claire for two years with out any luck at finding the right major, I decided to continue my search elsewhere. I looked at University of Minnesota's list of offered majors and was instantly attracted to their Interior Design program and decided to apply. After attending my first couple classes, I was hooked.
Please give a description (in your words) of your major including the things you learn, favorite classes, and any challenges you have faced.
Interior Design is much more than just decorating rooms. There's a science and a method behind design which definitely takes getting used to. While in the program you learn skills in drafting, creating construction documents, developing concepts, space planning, material selection, and creating presentation boards & 3D models. Studio classes have always been my favorite- this is where you receive Interior Design projects. For example last semester we were given the task to create a retail store of our choosing. For some projects, clients are hypothetical, for others they are real people who listen and respond to our ideas. Interior Design, in my opinion, is the perfect combination of art, science and psychology.
What types of experiences outside of the classroom have you had relating to your major? (i.e. clubs, jobs, internships, volunteering, study abroad etc.)
In February I started an internship at Lucy Interior Design, a small residential Interior Design. As their intern, its my job to help the designers with the material selection process. They trust me to listen to their concept, color scheme and the client's needs and then select materials that fit these requirements. I organize their material library, do sketches of rooms or spaces for their clients, and create presentation documents.
I also hold a board position as the Communications Coordinator for IDSA (Interior Design Student Association). This opportunity helps me develop my leadership skills and gives me more access to the professional world. IDSA organizes many networking events with Interior Designers and Architects to help students interact with them.
In your opinion, what is one thing, or one piece of advice that other students pursuing your major should know?
Expect a large time commitment for this major. The amount of work that is expected of you is much more compared to what you might be used to. The curriculum is project based, not a lot of tests or papers, which take serious amounts of work and effort. However, the end result definitely more than makes up for the hardwork. There's no better feeling than completing a project, looking back on it and being able to say "I designed this."