Posts Tagged ‘interior design professional advice’


BFA Interior Design, December 2005
Company Name: Plank Interiors
Job title: Interior Designer, Principal
How did you get this job?
After several years at Gettys doing hospitality design, I was laid off when the economy took its turn. As a result, a friend/co-worker and I started our own interior design firm. We focus on residential, commercial and hospitality design.

What do you do?
As small business owners, we do everything. We chase down new business, meet with clients and contractors, write proposals, do AutoCAD, make selections, meet with vendors, do paperwork, go to the Mart, move furniture and attend networking events. You name it. We do a little of everything and whatever it takes to get the job done.

Biggest piece of advice to further job seekers at Harrington:
Get an industry-related internship or job while still in school. It makes the classes and material covered more relevant. And be prepared to start working in an entry-level position performing tasks that are not necessarily glamorous. That’s how you learn the business.

Recorded April 20, 2011


This feature concludes our Alumni spotlights! Hope you enjoyed learning more about some of our Alumni and their advice to current design students. Many thanks to all our alumni for your time and insight!

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AAS Interior Design, August 2010
Company Name: Holly Hunt
Job title: Manufacturing Team Lead for Holly Hunt Manufacturing


How did you get this job?
I already had a BFA in Woodworking and Furniture Design [from a different school] and worked at a different furniture design company in Chicago for four years. During that time, I decided to attend Harrington to expand my education so that I could become a more well-rounded designer. After graduating I was recruited by Holly Hunt after a former colleague referred me.

What do you do?
I started this job as a brand new position within the company. Holly Hunt Manufacturing started with the idea of creating the first-ever Holly Hunt owned workroom. A small team of others and I built our facility from an empty warehouse space. I spent the first several months on the job creating the facility space layout, buying equipment and working with contractors and vendors (all things I couldn’t have done without the invaluable education I received while at Harrington).

Now that we are fully operational, my job has shifted to production manager of the workroom. We build prototypes as well as produce production items in the Holly Hunt furniture line. Some of my duties include working with the design department on new product development from initial prototypes to market-ready pieces, creating AutoCAD frame/construction drawings to document all the items we manufacture, working with the craftsmen and corporate office to maintain an accurate and manageable production schedule, sourcing supplies and working with vendors, etc. There really isn’t anything that isn’t included in my job description.

Biggest piece of advice to further job seekers at Harrington:
First, don’t take for granted anything you learn at Harrington, because you never know when you’ll need to call on that knowledge in the future … Absorb as much information as you can! Secondly, NETWORK!!! I can’t stress this enough. Believe it or not, design is a small industry, and you will be amazed at how the people working within it can move in and out of your life. Build good relationships with these people and guaranteed, they will help you out when you need them.

Recorded June 23, 2011

This graduate story is unique and may not represent typical experiences or outcomes for our graduates. Graduates should expect to pursue entry-level opportunities in their chosen fields. Examples of such entry-level opportunities are listed in the Harrington Career Guide.

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BFA Interior Design, December 2009
Company Name: Eckroth Planning Group, Inc.
Job title: Healthcare Design Programming / Planning Consultant


How did you get this job? 
Cold Call

What do you do?  
Healthcare Design Programming / Planning

Biggest piece of advice to job seekers at Harrington: 

  1.  Do not wait for jobs to be posted.
  2.  Send cold letters/calls/emails to hundreds of companies. Try to find someone who might relate to you – a prior  Harrington grad, same gender, the head of the department you want to work in, etc. Find their direct email, address & phone – you can – it is all on the Internet.
  3.  Personalize each and every letter, follow-up, thank you, etc.
  4.  Follow-up after two weeks, four weeks, then monthly.
  5.  Attend networking events.
  6.  Stay in touch with Harrington.
  7.  Continue learning. I was LEED Green almost immediately after graduation and before I was employed.
  8.  Stay humble.
  9.  Keep smiling.
  10.  Keep healthy & work out.
  11.  Go on any interview you are asked to, at least for the interview experience.
  12.  Do not be surprised if good firms have bad websites, as a lot of their business may come from word of mouth and not marketing.
  13.  Stay honest.
  14.  Ensure your portfolio is perfect, but do not wait to do any of the above even if your portfolio is not perfect yet.
  15.  Create your own website.
  16.  Look in the mirror in your interview clothes. Would you hire you if you were 10+ years older than yourself? No?  Then change whatever needs to change because 23-year-olds are not hiring, but 30+ to 50+ year-olds might be hiring.
  17.  Get your hair cut, reduce the makeup, cover the tattoos, lower the heels. Do not change who you are, just be smart enough to know what is and is not acceptable in an interview.


Recorded March 2, 2011

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This week I’m excited to kick off a series of exclusive interviews conducted with Harrington Alumni from each of our design programs: interior design, digital and commercial photography and communication design. Read each day as our alumni answer the same series of questions around their career as well as offer some advice for design students still in college.  Follow each day for some great advice from those that know best!

AAS Interior Design, August 2009
Company Name: Ebanista
Job title: Showroom and Territory Manager

How did you get this job?
I worked as a design intern and then design assistant for Frank Ponterio Interior Design. That firm sourced Ebanista a lot, and I developed a great relationship with the showroom. I have a sales background and was looking to apply my sales experience with my passion for fine furnishing and design. I was recruited by Ebanista last summer and joined their team in Chicago as a sales associate. I was then promoted to Territory Manger in October 2010.

What do you do?
Showroom Manager and Manage a territory of 11 states

Biggest piece of advice to further job seekers at Harrington:
NEVER GIVE UP! I’m a firm believer that if you work hard good things will happen and the right opportunities will present themselves. I had to work at Restoration Hardware for three months before my break at Frank Ponterio, which lead to my dream job now. Staying positive is key!

Recorded March 1, 2011

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