Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design Degree, 1998
Interior Design Department Head and Senior Designer for Jackson Design & Remodeling
What was your experience like at Design Institute of San Diego?
When I toured the school for the first time, I fell in love with it. I appreciated that the Institute focused exclusively on Interior Design. I remember being excited every day learning what an Interior Design career was really about. Every class I took - hand and computer drafting, space planning, building codes, textiles and materials, art history, history of interiors, color rendering, etc. - provided me with tools that eventually I was going to use in real life situations.
Where are you working now? What is your title?
At Jackson Design & Remodeling. I am the Interior Design Department Head and Senior Designer.
What could you share with a prospective student about why they should consider attending?
I personally had a great experience at DI. The staff and instructors were approachable and cared about the students’ professional growth and well-being. The instructors were very knowledgeable and had impressive experience in the field. The school has a variety of helpful resources to help students find great internships and job opportunities. I have been the Design Department Head at Jackson Design & Remodeling for almost 12 years. Throughout the years, I have interviewed and hired dozens of recent graduates. I have found that some of the best trained with the best portfolios are graduates from Design Institute of San Diego.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring interior designer, what would it be?
Be open to starting from the bottom and be humble and learn as much as you can. This will only make you stronger and more knowledgeable as your career progresses. Be a sponge and absorb as much information as you can. Find a mentor. Never stop learning.
Why did you want to become an interior designer?
Since I was very young (toddler age) I have always liked to do artwork and took many art classes over the years. As an adult I still love creating abstract art with oil and acrylic paints. From the time I was a little girl I always paid attention to what I liked and didn’t like in a room or a house. I would move furniture around with my mom and help her select wall colors and finishes. My bedroom always looked great and was nicely decorated. I have great appreciation for classic, modern and contemporary architecture. I also love the business side of the Interior Design and Remodeling business. Becoming an interior designer was the natural thing to do.
At what age did you realize you wanted to pursue interior design?
At age 18. In Mexico, it's more common for architects to be involved with interiors so initially, I considered pursuing architecture. When I discovered Design Institute of San Diego and its Interior Design program, I knew that was the perfect fit for me.
When you first started at DISD, did you see yourself reaching the position you are currently in?
Not necessarily, although I did know that I wanted to be involved in the residential remodeling side, which is what we do at JDR. A year after starting school at DI, while volunteering at an ASID Kitchen Tour, I discovered that I wanted to become an expert in kitchen and bath design. Fortunately, I was able to accomplish that. I love working with whole home remodels and when it is time to design the kitchens and baths, I really enjoy that too!