WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING SINCE LEAVING TTU?
Since TTU I immediately moved to Atlanta and began working for the company I interned with, which was a fabrics and furniture showroom. While there I met a lot of interior designers in the area and was even able to shadow with one for a while. After about 7 months I had a new job opportunity come my way. Hall Design Build, A local custom home builder, was looking for an interior design student to join and grow with the company. I jumped right in the middle of a couple projects off the bat; helping build new custom homes and large scale renovations. When we do renovations I am the one who does all the computer work on a home building software called Chief Architect. I usually start by going to the house myself, measuring everything, then transferring it to Chief Architect. Those plans are called our As-builts. Then we have a meeting with the clients to get an idea of what they’re wanting from the project and I go back to Chief Architect and pull together some new plans that are derived from the as-builts called our Proposed Plans. I design everything from the floor plans, to the foundation plans, to the roof plans. I also do the elevations, electrical layout, and space planning. I also get to do a little bit of kitchen & bath design. I don’t get to do much with fabric or decorating, but for the interior design aspect I get to choose or at least guide the client in choosing lighting, flooring, wall color, finishes, exterior details, windows, hardware, etc… With my boss being a contractor I also learn about the structure of the houses. I’m currently learning a lot about framing. We’re a small design/build firm basically meaning we’re a one-stop shop. The client will be with us throughout the entire process of their project & we take care of everything.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SKILLS OR INFLUENCES YOU GAINED FROM TTU THAT HAVE HELPED YOU?
While at TTU I gained leadership skills for sure. I was actively involved with the Housing & Design club; eventually becoming the President. I also held leadership roles in the Human Ecology honors society and at the Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM).
My communication skills grew stronger through those leadership roles. This prepared me to deal with clients and vendors. I am able to get my thoughts across to the vendors clearly so that they can provide their service to us. With the clients, I am able to inform them of design ideas I have or what they may need to know before making decisions, and how best to guide them in the process accurately.
The technology skills I learned while at TTU made me more valuable immediately when applying for jobs. Knowing Chief Architect was a selling point. Although I didn’t know everything, I knew how the program worked and was able to cultivate those skills through my training phase.