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School of Interior Design Graduate Placement is High

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A graduate of the Anderson University School of Interior Design shares her journey.

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According to Anderson University School of Interior Design Dean Anne Martin, practically all of this year’s interior design graduates are entering jobs in the interior design profession.

New graduate Olivia Growe was presented with this year’s Interior Design Honor’s Award recipient during Honors Convocation. She is also currently in the process of studying for the Design and Drafting Autodesk Certification as well as the NCIDQ with the anticipation of testing within the next year as well as exploring the LEED certification as well after having some work experience.

Growe’s love for architecture and design has been a huge part of her life. Growing up with two incredibly creative and driven parents, she saw design as a method of expression.

“They demonstrated how to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes and always keep learning,” she said. “I was always mesmerized by how easily a space could transform the way one felt. I found that the small details, elements that often got overlooked could evoke feelings of emotions within the space without having a connection to the room. Design was a way I could use the gift God had given me to better someone else’s life.”

From her childhood, Growe was fascinated by buildings and inspired by beautiful spaces.

“I remember when my family would take a vacation I would want to go and explore the hotel, the lobby and every area of the facility. Even as a seven or eight-year-old, I could tell you about minute details on buildings or homes I visited,” she said.

When Growe was ready for college, she visited Anderson University, where the students and staff she met during Base Camp made a positive impact.

“The staff and students who attended were people I knew would best help me and were individuals I wanted to be surrounded by for all four years. I saw Anderson as a place I knew would help me in accomplishing what I wanted to do and would support the decisions I made to get where I am today,” she said.

In the Anderson University School of Interior Design, Growe was daily surrounded by classmates, friends and professors who encouraged her throughout her program and helped her learn and grow while experiencing real-life opportunities to interact with professional designers and work on a variety of projects. Her professors took time with her in a way she feels is rarely found in other interior design programs.

“Since the first day of class, this program has given me an opportunity to learn the principles of proportion, balance, layout and function within interiors rather than just adding décor. Over the next four years, I worked on interior and architectural design aspects within residential and commercial projects, with the sole purpose of creating spaces that leave an impact on its occupants,” she said. “It has been so rewarding to see how the skills we are taught put us a step above in the real work environment. The program at Anderson dives deep into a multitude of software applications as well as strengthening our drafting skills.”

Growe interned at Kat Solomon Interiors in West Palm Beach, Florida, a high-end residential firm with a fair share of boutique commercial projects, including hotels and restaurants. There Growe felt valued as a designer while demonstrating her design skills in a professional setting. She’s also grateful to Anderson University helping her develop communication skills that are essential when discussing ideas with architects, clients and contractors.

“Being able to apply what I had learned in school to real world scenarios really emphasized my sense of purpose within design. In school we are constantly working on projects with given project requirements, but the internship allowed me to become personal with the clients and understand how design could be used to benefit their lives,” she said. “Whether through site visits, presentations, or even CAD, Revit and SketchUp drawings, I was able to capture the essence of the intended design in a way that could easily translate into an actual project.”

During her internship, Growe was inspired while learning how to work through challenges often encountered in a design project to find solutions and further grow professionally.

“Coming away from this internship experience, I gained an understanding of the necessary construction documents and how the phases of interior design work cohesively together, and how sets are then produced and sent out to the client and contractor. The internship I had the summer of my junior year was an overall incredible experience for me.”

After graduating from Anderson, Growe will be joining Studio BNA in Athens, Georgia. She feels God has led her to this position after persevering through her job search. She’s looking forward to working with the firm, noting that they have been involved in renovations of  old mills and warehouses, transforming them into luxurious hotels, restaurants and unique work spaces.

As I reflect on my time spent at Anderson University, growth is the one word that initially comes to mind and is the one word I would use to describe my educational journey. I will never stop learning to grow within myself and in my career. Seeing struggles and challenges as an opportunity for growth and for learning has opened doors for me that in turn, have strengthened my abilities. And now, as I stand on the edge of the “real world” I cherish where I have been and look eagerly into my next season of life.

Growe’s portfolio can be found online.

Anderson University School of Interior Design

School of Interior Design graduates are working all over the U.S. and globally in premier design firms. While at Anderson, interior design majors are given numerous opportunities to personally connect with professionals on and off campus and get to visit top design firms. All interior design students must complete an internship and many of them intern at top design firms around the country. Anderson University Interior Design students have won regional and national awards. Details about the Anderson University School of Interior Design can be found online.


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