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Interior Designer

Jae Berni, ASID

Tell us about your work--what do you do? I assist people in making decisions regarding wall color , furniture , fabrics , and space planning for where they live. What skills are needed? Good visualization skill is probably the most important. You also need mathematical skills because designers do a substantial amount of measuring. Emotional intelligence can help you have good rapport with clients. You need to listen to clients and assess what they really want out of their living space. What was your major/education? Two-year associates degree of Applied Science from the International Academy of Design . How did you get started in your career? I started by working part-time with another designer in her studio. What experience do you need in this job? No formal work-experience is needed, however, most interior design students have to do an internship by the time they graduate. Describe your "typical" workday: I have a home office. Usually, I begin my day with phone calls, and I meet with clients for consultations. Next, I shop at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, which is one of the leading suppliers of interior design products. Then I return home to place orders for clients. What is the hardest aspect of your job? The hardest aspect is making sure clients receive correct end-products (furniture, fabrics, and draperies), which they ordered from me. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? The most rewarding aspect is when clients are happy with my design work, when I've been able to make their home more personal. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? You need to enjoy creating beautiful spaces. If you find yourself doing that naturally with your own room or home, you probably have an instinct for this kind of work. To help decide if this is the field for you, try to get some first-hand experience. If you can intern at a designer's studio or participate in a job shadow program , you'll have a clearer idea of whether you're a good fit for this career.