Love for Design: Berkeley College and Beyond

One of the reasons I fell in love with my career in interior design was the education I received from Berkeley College. There, I learned to balance and hone in on the sensory aspects of elements, such as lighting, patterns, and colors. An eye for color or placement isn’t enough to be an interior designer. To master the concept, you need to learn the foundation. Berkeley ensures that all students understand the principles of design along with the technical aspects. As one of my professors, Alfonso Torino, once said, “Culture and history are an integral part of the design.” Culture and history are significant steps to building a strong foundation for a successful career in interior design.

Although it’s been several years since I was a student at Berkeley, they’re still a big part of my life. At VDA, we are active in the accredited program offered through Berkeley’s internship program, affording students the opportunity to explore their career path. This program is the experience of a lifetime for any design student. They will walk away with valuable skills needed in the field of design. Once they have completed the internship program, there may be opportunities, such as hiring, references, or just creating a lasting connection in the field. The Berkeley internship program is an excellent way to go beyond the love of design.

Here are my top-five things that I look for when hiring an intern:

1. Resume! Make sure the resume is short, sweet and neat. Use spell check often but most of all, make sure to have your resume in hand. I once had a candidate in the waiting room applying make-up, no resume, or pen, just a handbag full of cosmetics. That’s great if you’re interviewing for the cosmetic counter at Bloomie’s. It’s not the shade of lipstick I’m looking for, therefore, have one or two copies of your resume and two or three pens in your pocket.

2. Does the candidate have an interest in my company? Doing homework before the interview is a plus. The candidate that does the research about my company has a greater chance in this competitive industry.

3. Eager to jump-in (I call it “fire”). We look for that inner burning to get the job done. If the applicant looks enthusiastic showing examples from their coursework relevant to the job, and ready to jump in, they have a significant advantage over others. Usually, that same enthusiasm will continue as they turn into design rock stars!

4. Follow-up after the interview with an email or phone call, this shows me that you are grateful and interested in the job.

5. Future hire. If the intern met all our requirements, they are put on a list of future potential employees.

Stay tuned, as exciting things from Berkeley College are about to unfold.

Vanessa Deleon xoxo