You’ve Got Your Interior Design Diploma! What Happens Next?

Whether you’ve just finished your interior design diploma or haven’t even started your course yet, questions about the future may already be looming. It’s one of the most common questions we are asked at our Open Days – “what do National Design Academy students do after their Diplomas?”. For the vast majority, it’s the start of an exciting career change. For others it’s only the start of their interior design education. Here are some stories of different paths our students have taken following the completion of their diploma.

The Renovator

Everyone’s path is different. Some people study their interior design diploma as a hobby or when renovating their own home. Some students use it to kick-start their career as an interior designer. Some start it as a hobby and love it so much that they decide to change their career at the end. Deciding what you want to get out of your interior design diploma doesn’t have to happen overnight. More than often it’s a process as you progress through the course.

Meet Clare Bolger; Clare recently featured on our Student Spotlight after her home renovation won an award from Period Living magazine. Clare started out on the NDA interior design diploma to help her with one of her first home renovation projects and now has a thriving interior design practice.

Originally working in the financial services industry, Clare realised that interior design was her calling soon after starting her diploma. Despite juggling part time work, three young boys and her studies, Clare completed three home renovation projects and finally found her dream home – an old Edwardian project property in Halifax, West Yorkshire. This experience and her interior design diploma gave her the confidence to make the career change stick. Her business, No Space Like Home, specialises in creating eclectic and individual spaces with the emphasis on the modern family.

emily harnasz

The Colour Specialist

Emily Harnasz had a few career changes before she decided to pursue her passion for interior design, and she’s never looked back. Her mother-in-law had studied with the NDA previously and noticed Emily’s flair for design in her own home. But despite always having had an interest in home décor, it took Emily a few years to take the plunge and start her own interior design diploma.

One of the first things you’ll notice about Emily’s Instagram feed is her use of colour. During her diploma, Emily gained confidence as she grew to understand the basics of colour psychology and colour theory.  She describes her style as modern, eclectic, and BOLD and it was her love of vibrant colours which led her to start her own colour consultancy, Swish, when she finished her diploma.

Swish offers clients the ability to get a professional opinion from a colour expert without committing to a full interior design service. The time and expense involved in choosing a colour scheme can escalate, especially with so many different brands, shades and finishes available to choose from. Emily’s expert advice ranges from a quick 15-minute colour clinic to full consultations for larger projects.

It’s clear when you visit the Swish website that Emily has found her niche. Her passion for helping others find their confidence with colour is evidenced by her wonderful reviews.

To find out more about her experiences on the NDA Interior Design Diploma you can read Emily’s Student Spotlight here.

Rand Jasim

The Academic

For some people, their interior design diploma is just the start of their learning journey. Rand Jasim started her interior design diploma in 2017 and has since completed both the diploma and her BA (Hons) Interior Design with the NDA. Rand is now studying towards her Master’s in Interior Design and her Professional Garden Design Diploma – at the same time!

Rand developed a passion for creating sustainable and calming schemes during her diploma and this led to her to research the influence of interior design on children with autism and learning difficulties as part of her degree course. What started as a hobby as a child has turned into a longer learning curve for Rand as she looks to specialise in the sociological and psychological impact of interior design. Rand also carries out freelance interior design projects as she works towards her MA.

Rand’s Coffee Beans & Books Café wowed the judges in NDA Design Award in 2020. You can view her work here on her website.

The Business Owner

Having children is often a catalyst for a career change and many NDA students choose the Professional Interior Design Diploma as a way to get started in the industry.

Azza Refaat decided to retrain as an interior designer in her 30’s. She started out with the NDA’s Diploma in Professional Interior Design and has never looked back. Azza now owns a thriving interior design business in Dubai. Watch Azza’s story here.

Choose Your Own Path

No one’s circumstances are the same, but the one thing all of these Diploma students have in common is a passion for interior design. Many of our students study with us at the beginning of a career change, others as a way to learn more about their hobby.

The National Design Academy’s Diplomas are the perfect way to test the water and find out if you want to take your studies further. The flexible learning options mean that you can fit your studies in around your family or work life and study at your own pace. Once you’ve finished your diploma, we also offer a progression scholarship to help you take your learning to the next level. Ready to get started? Enrol today!

Read More Student Stories

Find out what students thought about studying with the NDA and how getting a professional design qualification changed their lives in our Student Spotlight section.

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