Ad­vice on ca­reers, style and well-be­ing

Friday - - Editor’s Letter -

Ad­vice from the best in the UAE.


Q I am a grade 10 stu­dent and want to pur­sue a ca­reer in in­te­rior de­sign. Do you have any ad­vice? A Do you some­times look at a room and think you could have made it look bet­ter? Per­haps re­ar­ranged some of the fur­ni­ture or added a ‘lit­tle some­thing ex­tra’?

In­te­rior de­sign can lead to a suc­cess­ful ca­reer if you have a flair for mak­ing the best out of the space you have and have a good aes­thetic sense.

But in­te­rior de­sign is more than mere aes­thet­ics, draw­ing sketches and think­ing about ma­te­rial and fit­tings. You will need to cal­cu­late costs, pre­pare a bud­get, rec­om­mend peo­ple to carry out the work and su­per­vise its progress.

Those in the field must pos­sess cre­ativ­ity, tech­ni­cal pro­fi­ciency, and busi­ness acu­men to be truly suc­cess­ful. Luck­ily, a va­ri­ety of in­te­rior de­sign pro­grammes ex­ist and in­stil these skills at ev­ery level.

De­sign is a pro­fes­sion that re­quires ex­cel­lent com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills, both in com­mu­ni­cat­ing one’s ideas on paper and to other peo­ple. It is es­sen­tial that the de­signer is ca­pa­ble of trans­lat­ing ideas onto paper through draw­ings and spec­i­fi­ca­tions, and that he or she is com­pe­tent enough to in­struct and man­age builders and crafts­men.

In­te­rior de­sign can be done in­de­pen­dently as a fine arts de­gree, though it is not un­com­mon for many peo­ple to study cour­ses in the ba­sics of ar­chi­tec­ture. Al­ways re­mem­ber to en­rol in a pro­gramme that is ac­cred­ited by the ap­pro­pri­ate reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties in the coun­try you wish to work in.

In high school it is rec­om­mended that you study English and maths, and if pos­si­ble, physics. It is al­ways ben­e­fi­cial to study maths as one of your grade 12 sub­jects. It pro­vides a foun­da­tion that opens up a va­ri­ety of cour­ses for you, and won’t re­strict you to a few niche op­tions.

Hav­ing said that, most uni­ver­si­ties do not make it manda­tory to have stud­ied these sub­jects as they ad­mit stu­dents who have broad aca­demic back­grounds and a demon­strated in­ter­est in, com­mit­ment to, and ap­ti­tude for de­sign.

To gain ad­mis­sion into the bet­ter de­sign schools, you will need to show strong artis­tic and cre­ative skills through the sub­mis­sion of a port­fo­lio. This is the most im­por­tant part of the se­lec­tion process, so start pre­par­ing it now. In ad­di­tion to pho­tos, in­clude a se­lec­tion of your de­signs and sketches, and don’t be afraid to present ex­am­ples from a wide va­ri­ety of projects. Ad­di­tion­ally, many in­te­rior de­sign­ers to­day main­tain on­line ver­sions of their port­fo­lios that make it easy for po­ten­tial clients and em­ploy­ers to reach out to them.

Ob­tain­ing rel­e­vant work ex­pe­ri­ence while study­ing is of paramount im­por­tance. Try to gain ex­pe­ri­ence in about three or four dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies.

The in­dus­try is very com­pet­i­tive, and clients are be­com­ing more and more knowl­edge­able and de­mand­ing.

The PORT­FO­LIO is the most im­por­tant part of the se­lec­tion process, so start PRE­PAR­ING it now In ad­di­tion to pho­to­graphs, it’s im­por­tant to in­clude a SE­LEC­TION of your DE­SIGNS and sketches

Break­ing into the in­dus­try and find­ing the ground to al­low one to de­velop a re­spected rep­u­ta­tion re­quires ded­i­ca­tion, hard work and tal­ent.

Due to low bar­ri­ers of en­try, get­ting in­dus­try place­ments and work ex­pe­ri­ence is crit­i­cal and the best way of do­ing this is through your univer­sity. Check for past alumni, in­tern­ships, place­ments and more when de­cid­ing which univer­sity to study at.

The top de­sign schools in­clude the Pratt In­sti­tute, New York School of In­te­rior De­sign, Florence De­sign Academy, In­te­rior De­sign School, Lon­don, VCAD, Van­cou­ver, UCLA and In­te­rior De­sign­ers In­sti­tute in Cal­i­for­nia.

SAN­JEEV VERMA is an in­ter­na­tional education coun­sel­lor

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