Designer Kami Michels from Kimberly Weder Designs spoke to EMU interior design students on Wednesday in Roosevelt Hall about what life can be like after graduation as an interior designer. Students who attended received free refreshments and Learning Beyond the Classroom credit.
Michels received her undergraduate degree from University of Michigan and received her master’s degree this past spring from EMU. At Kimberly Weder Designs, Michels works as the only other designer besides the owner of the business, Kimberly Weder.
During her presentation, Michels went into detail about a project she had recently finished where she helped to completely renovate an 1800s Victorian home with a budget of approximately $700,000.
Michels explained to students all of the work that goes into a big project like this, from passing codes to what kind of door hinges you are going to use.
“Even in residential design, the attention to detail is so important,” she said.
In interior design, Michels also stressed to students the importance of networking and making friends.
“It’s really good to know people,” Michels said.
She said interior design professionals have to work with homeowners, architects and construction workers.
“It’s a big team effort,” she said.
The designer also encouraged students to stay focused in school and to build a portfolio because that is what will get them a job by graduation. Michels said to always pay attention and take notes.
She explained how internships and connections will be key as well, advising students to work hard, enter contests and build their resumes.
The presentation also helped students understand how much information is collected for each project, and some were surprised at the amount of different projects that may be going on at one time.
“Managing time well is going to be important,” said Megan Nemeth, EMU interior design major.
When a student asked Michels what she does between projects, Michels said that if she wants a job, there is always a project.
Michels told students that they need to be invested in what they do.
“It’s so groovy to see a drawing that you did become real.”
Kimberly Weder designs takes on about 50 clients at a time and charges by the hour. Michels said it takes a lot of multitasking and working with many different personalities.
“I learned that learning how to balance different jobs will be important,” said Sarah Anker, an EMU interior design major.
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