Posted:April 15, 2022
Kat Larson, Century College's 2022 Outstanding Student in Interior Design, knows that hard work, keeping one's options open, and making professional connections can lead to a dream job.
"Don’t be afraid to try new and different things when you're starting out in the Interior Design program - be open to it. You could learn and experience something you would have never thought about otherwise. Try other options, and be open to new avenues, especially in the beginning. You may find something totally unexpected that you love and end up shifting directions - being flexible this way is an important life skill, and not just while you’re in school,” advises Kat.
Choosing Century College
Prior to attending Century College, Kat had worked in the Interior Design field for five years in showrooms and sales. Century's Interior Design graduates highly recommended the program to her, and, after looking at the program, Kat started part-time.
"Having a Century College Interior Design degree is a big help, and I knew I could add that to my career tool kit," she notes. "I started in the Fall of 2020 with two online classes, and it was very convenient that I could work virtually on my degree. I loved it, tested it out and then jumped in!
"The faculty were especially supportive, and even more so after students were able to return to class in person," Kat remembers. "Catherine Harrington, in particular, was great. The Century College Interior Design faculty are a tight-knit crew, and they all have experience working in the field as well as teaching."
Professional Experience and Connections Through ASID
After starting school, Kat got involved immediately in the Century College student chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), a professional association. She soon became the student representative to the Minnesota chapter.
"I love school projects, and the best part is being able to get involved with students in ASID. I was involved in creating a newsletter that included job and networking information. It's really rewarding to help bridge the gap between school and work," Kat says.
She is now a Board member for the MN chapter of ASID. "We recently hosted our first event for students at International Market Square in Minneapolis, and it was so exciting. We had 80 students, and took them on tours around the building and showed them the various showrooms.
Landing Her Dream Job Prior to Graduation
Kat has just found her dream job. "I had been following Jake Arnold (an international interior designer who runs "The Expert" company), and he had posted a job opening on Instagram a few weeks ago - I decided to send in my resume, and got a call the next day," she says. "After that, I was quickly hired.
"I serve as a liaison between customers and designers on the client experience side of the business, working on floor plans, troubleshooting, et cetera. The job is a perfect fit!"
In the future, Kat wants to become an independent designer, and she may expand her business at some point. For now, she's thrilled with her new position with The Expert.
"I'm just so happy that I've found this job," Kat says, "And, I've had such a positive experience at Century College. I’ve loved my time here and I’m so glad I came here to get my education.”
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