It was a pleasure to attend the Student Career Day at Atlanta Decorative Arts Center (ADAC) this past Thursday. An event sponsored by the American Society of Interior Designers or ASID, it brought a unique opportunity for interior design students to get industry insights, attend panel discussions and to visit a variety of showrooms that are housed in ADAC, a great resource for local designers.
The day began around 9a.m. with half an hour networking opportunity for students who came from as far as Valdosta. Interior design departments from Georgia Southern University, SCAD and Gwinnett Technical College were among other schools that attended the event.
Two time winner of the Southeastern Designer award, Melanie Turner of Melanie Turner Interiors was the key note speaker for the day. She attributed her success in just four short years to having a vision board. This is why she emphasized the students to set goals and then work hard to achieve them.
Her pearls of advice for the students were to always take the client's budget into account, great time management and having great relationship with vendors to make it happen in a timely manner. She said it is important for her as an employer to look for people who not only have appreciation of the present day designers but also aware of the industry pioneers and classical architecture.
She thinks that it is really important for the proposed design to work with the existing architecture of the house and to always take quality photographs of every project.
In her design process, she usually draws inspiration from everything around her especially nature, fashion, architecture and elements of classical design.
After the keynote presentation the students were divided into groups and hosted by various show rooms at ADAC including Baker, Porcelanosa, Moattar and Duralee fabrics to name a few. Every group was lead by a docent, who was also an industry professional and ready to any questions from the students.
A panel discussion that revolved around educating graduating students about resumes and interviewing tips ended a fruitful day.