We caught up with Irish Academy of Interior Design graduate, Olive Wilson, to find out why she chose to study interior design and how the course has benefitted her.
"I've always had an inherent interest in interior design," says Olive. "When I finished school it wasn't something I thought I could have a career in. I did a Bachelor of Arts degree and then started working in financial services. But as I got a bit older, as I had my own home, I really wanted to get into interior design."
Choosing to study
Olive decided that the time was right to change career and pursue her interest. “It was a bit of leap to change but then I said ‘right, I’m going to go for it’”.
Choosing the home study option was an easy decision for Olive. “That really suited me because I had a young family, I had other commitments. I could still work and at the same time do my study and achieve a goal.”
“I was a little bit daunted starting the online course,” she explains. “I thought ‘I'm going to be on my own, I won't know what to do’ but the tutor support was brilliant. As I went further into the course I got more confident with it.”
“It can sometimes be difficult to make time for coursework”, says Olive. But, she says, you just have to set aside time to do it. “With the support of the tutors and the online tutorials it was a great encouragement,” she says. “I didn't find it difficult to motivate myself because I absolutely loved the work. I really enjoyed doing the assignments.”
Becoming an interior designer
Soon after starting the course, Olive got a job with a local interior designer. “I just started off in an assistant role, helping out as much as I could. It was great timing because the other girl had to go back to college so I slotted in and I'm still working there four years later. I am a designer in my own right, I have my own clients, my own portfolio but it's great to bounce ideas off each other as well.”
Olive says that going from dreaming about being an interior designer to becoming one really is a dream come true. “It’s been life changing. You're always thinking about your clients and projects that you're working on and it's really made me very happy. I'm delighted with the decision to go down this path.”
Getting the right foundation
“It's great to have work experience,” says Olive “but you really need the foundation of knowledge to really be a true designer. The course has provided that for me.” Olive believes that the knowledge and skills she got from the course, such as studying the history of design, to learning how to do technical drawings and floor plans, would be hard to learn on the job. “You need that base and a foundation of knowledge and you can then implement that into your design work.”
A bright future
Olive plans to continue working as an interior designer. “I work with another designer and we have a fabric shop. I'm very happy there so I'm just looking forward to continuing my career.” Of her achievement she says, “I'm delighted, I'm very proud of myself.”
Inspired by Olive’s story and looking to pursue your interest in interior design? View our full list of courses here.