Alumni Stories

BI Alumni_Geraldine

 

         Graduation Year: 2020

         Degree: BA Interior Design

         Current Position: Int. Designer & Consultant at Bolia and Design Editor at VieDeFem Magazine

 

 

 

 

Briefly describe your current job/studies. Is it typical for a graduate in your field?

As Int. Designer and Sales consultant at Bolia, I am part of a team that shares a passion for unique and sustainable Scandinavian design furniture. My tasks include direct advice and service tailored to the needs of clients. Physically and through our online platforms. In my free time I work for a Magazine in NY as Design Editor. As a Design Editor at VDF, I provide a creative vision for the whole organization. Working side by side with the Chief Editor and Creative Direction to establish processes and practices for executing the vision and setting the bar for quality. I don't really know if these positions are typical in our field, but, I was looking for something that would allow me to apply my love as Interior design with visual arts, fashion and especially communication.

 

What did you take from your time as a student at BI and what are you able to apply most frequently?

Definitely time management, teamwork and being realistic with my goals, those are some skills that I took from University. I believe repetition is a very strong quality that has made other people successful in the past, so I try to learn every day new things to push my own limits.

 

What projects are you currently involved in or planning for the future?

I'm being part of the design process for a Magazine Pop-up Store in New York. Unfortunately I can’t give more details about it yet, but it’s something that excites me already.

 

Do you have any advice for current students?

Work hard and believe in yourself. Manifestation is a very strong quality needed to endure the hard times.

 

What is the most challenging work/study situation you have faced and how did you overcome it?

"Everything had to be ready yesterday." At the beginning, as in any new job, one needs time to understand the processes and how everything works. Many times there was no time to learn this processes and I had to trust myself and my skills. Basically, jump in and do it.

 

Describe a study- or workday; what is unique and what is routine?

If I am not helping my clients with their furniture at Bolia.com, I am in meetings or producing content for the Magazine in New York. Both jobs involves a lot of public relations, creativity, organization and research.

 

HOT TIP!

IF YOU WANT A CUSTOM ANSWER, MAKE A CUSTOM CONTACT.

Don't just send your CV to HR, that department receives +100 profiles every day. Try to change your strategy by trying to impress the CEO. I'm sure if your profile is profitable, he will highlight your CV to HR; and what could be better than that? When contacting the CEO/Manager/Team Leader, try to find ways how YOU could help THEM with their goal as an organization. If you want something from them, don’t be afraid of giving up your best advices for FREE. Either they find your comments interesting and want a meeting with you; they don’t like your ideas at all, or they may steal them, but hey!, isn’t that a sign that you’re on the right direction? And, who wants to work with people like that anyways..

BI Alumni_Ines

 

         Graduation Year: 2018

         Degree: BA Interior Design

         Current Position: Showroom Coordinator (DACH/FR/Benelux)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Briefly describe your current job/studies. Is it typical for a graduate in your field?

Since 2019, I am working as a Showroom Coordinator at Reform, a Danish kitchen design and production company. My job includes scouting for new showroom locations within Germany and Europe, working in close relation with the in-house design team from establishing the design layout to implementing the planned materials and furniture, to overseeing the building process and keeping every stakeholder of the project up to date. I would not describe it as the “typical” profession in the field of interior design but it closely touches a mix of various areas that are relevant in a design process, which makes it a very dynamic and interesting job.

 

What did you take from your time as a student at BI and what are you able to apply most frequently?

Communication, especially in an environment with people from different nationalities, languages and cultures are very essential. I am trying to always keep that in mind when talking with co-workers, clients or suppliers.

 

What projects are you currently involved in or planning for the future?

I had the chance to plan and design the layout and interior for the new back office for Reform in Berlin and at the moment we are in the last phase of establishing a new showroom in Frankfurt am Main.

 

Do you have any advice for current students?

My advice for any student is not to overthink it and limit yourself to specific professions or certain companies when applying for jobs. It is important to start somewhere and once you have a foot in the door, a lot more opportunities will arise.

 

What is the most challenging work/study situation you have faced and how did you overcome it?

I think the Covid pandemic has been especially challenging for most people, no matter which sector. It has brought a lot of uncertainty and has required me to step into a different role for a little while. What I took from this time was, that it is good to have a diverse set of skills that can be adapted to different requirements or work situations.

 

Describe a study- or workday; what is unique and what is routine?

No day is actually the same. Some more unique tasks include for example filing paperwork for the authorities to get the facade signage approved for our showrooms. This can get very tricky when monument protection is involved. A more routinely day would encompass ordering furniture, getting in touch with suppliers, checking on orders, reporting on order status and organizing all sorts of things to get a project rolling.

 

HOT TIP!

BUILD A NETWORK!

Connect with as many people from different fields and backgrounds as you can. It is a valuable asset.

BI Alumni_Ines

 

         Graduation Year: 2018

         Degree: BA Product Design

         Current Position: Freelance Designer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Briefly describe your current job/studies. Is it typical for a graduate in your field?

Besides being passionate about design, I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit with me. That is why I started a business venture after my product design studies. I launched my own e-commerce Osloer.com where I sell my designs. Moreover, I am involved in different projects as a freelance designer.

 

What did you take from your time as a student at BI and what are you able to apply most frequently?

The multi-disciplinary approach, and how I apply that to the way I work as a designer today. It makes it easier for me to move between different approaches and techniques in my work.

 

What projects are you currently involved in or planning for the future?

I am designing my first porcelain series, a material I have been interested to work with for a long time. On top of that, I am designing textile prints for a start-up, in collaboration with a talented entrepreneur. I am also continuing developing Osloer.com.

 

Do you have any advice for current students?

Remember that we all have to start somewhere and avoid comparing yourself to others — focus on your journey. Never stop learning and be in charge of keeping your skill sets up to date. Best way of learning is by failure.

 

What is the most challenging work/study situation you have faced and how did you overcome it?

Some of the biggest hurdles I have faced as a designer is working beyond the products and handling the business side of things. It has been a lot of trials and errors but by using all the free resources that are available around and by learning from people with experience from the industry I was able find the best solutions for my situation.

 

Describe a study- or workday; what is unique and what is routine?

Being my own boss gives me a lot of freedom in my workday. As a multi-disciplinary designer, I enjoy that every day is different, and no project is alike. When working freelance, a lot of times a project does not only spring from a client briefing, but one project inspires the next and develops as an extension of the previous one.

 

HOT TIP!

Focus on your strengths and interests and do not be afraid to specialise.

BI Alumni_Mor

 

         Graduation Year: 2019

         Degree: BA Business Administration

         Current Position: Corporate Development Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

 

Briefly describe your current job/studies. Is it typical for a graduate in your field?

I am working at Just Eat Takeaway (the global company for Lieferando) as a Corporate Development Specialist. Currently, we’re 14 employees located in Berlin, Amsterdam, London and Wroclaw. The role focuses on leading projects across the company. Working side by side with different stakeholders from different departments. In the company, there are entry level job opportunities which will also be a good fit for graduates.

 

What did you take from your time as a student at BI and what are you able to apply most frequently?

As a student I learnt how to manage my time effectively while completing my university tasks, working and not putting aside my hobbies. This time management helped me also while starting my career. I believe that time management is a key in being organized and focused on tasks.

 

What projects are you currently involved in or planning for the future?

Currently I’m working on three different projects. Example of one of them is the ‘Hybrid Way of Working’. The programme consists 5 workstreams. After developing objectives and milestones, I’m working with different stakeholders to monitor the project progress, set deadlines, solve issues that arise and coordinate alignment between all workstreams.

 

Do you have any advice for current students?

Take responsibility for yourself and remember to balance between study/work and life. When you have big tasks to accomplish, break them into smaller tasks, prioritize them and plan accordingly.

 

What is the most challenging work/study situation you have faced and how did you overcome it?

A challenging situation I’ve faced recently is when a coworker left her job unexpectedly. When she left, my manager asked me to take over her responsibilities which involved some topics that I hadn’t worked on before. I had to learn the topics in a short time in order to be able to present it to higher management.

 

Describe a study- or workday; what is unique and what is routine?

I like to start each day by going over my emails. Then I’m checking my schedule to make sure any calls or meetings I have are top of mind and I get any prep work for those done first thing. Then, I check my to-do-list, prioritizing what has to be done first and adding tasks as required. The team has a pipeline of projects, from time to time we sit together to discuss what is coming up and what we have accomplished. This usually changes up the routine and opens the door to learn new things.

 

HOT TIP!

Don’t be afraid to start planning your career path already during your studies. Don’t hesitate to go to hiring events and get to know what the market has to offer. For example, a successful internship at a good company is very valuable to get your foot in the door.

BI Alumni_Mor

 

         Graduation Year: 2020

         Degree: BA Interior Design

         Current Position: Interior Designer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Briefly describe your current job/studies. Is it typical for a graduate in your field?

Currently I am working as an interior designer/ architect for an exclusive interior design firm in Zurich Switzerland. My job includes travelling to our clients’ sites all over Europe, creating exclusive interior solutions and concepts for high level clients. I think you can’t really predict what the typical graduate works after their studies. There are so many ways you can go after graduating. Nevertheless I would say that the job I’ve been doing for the past 2 years is very closely related to my studies.

 

What did you take from your time as a student at BI and what are you able to apply most frequently?

Time management is key. No matter what project I am working on I take my time in the beginning to analyse the workload and make a timeline. And most importantly to name the biggest risks and find different ways to minimize them. I always try to avoid an allnighter before a deadline. Because not only should your project be done, you should also be in a physical condition to present your ideas strongly to your client.

 

What projects are you currently involved in or planning for the future?

At the moment I am working on a complete remodeling project of my clients house in the mountains close to Zurich. For this project we are changing the entire existing interior and are creating a whole new interior concept. Right now I am in the first phase of the design process. At the same time I am working on a private villa in the Ticino region in Switzerland. The project is very interesting, since it is an old structure that should be modernized but at the same time making sure it does not lose its identity and heritage.

 

Do you have any advice for current students?

Be determined but don’t make yourself crazy. Try to enjoy your time as a student as much as you can. Whatever you will do after your studies you will face challenges and responsibilities so make the most out of the time where you can still try out and experience everything.

 

What is the most challenging work/study situation you have faced and how did you overcome it?

Working with a contractor that ignored my interior plans and trying to keep cool and adapting to the built-ins he did that were anything but like the ones I planned. Sometimes you have to be creative and find a solution for unforeseen issues.

 

Describe a study- or workday; what is unique and what is routine?

I do not have a daily routine. Depending on the project my schedule varies a lot. It ranges from the creation of material and color collages to visits on site, creating concept presentations and managing projects. The way I work differs from project to project and client to client.

 

HOT TIP!

BUILD A NETWORK Don’t be afraid to say no to someone! Sometimes you have to decline a job/project when you realize there is someone or something that does not feel right. When closing one door, another will open. :)

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