Open Learning Diploma Interior Design 2013 -

Josephine Grima

Interior Designer

"I wanted to have the flexibility to study in my own time while maintaining my full time job. Moreover I wanted to obtain a qualification from a very reputable institution in the industry."

What were you doing before KLC and why did you decide to study at the school?
My professional career started over 25 years ago working in the financial services industry.  Over the years I gained extensive experience in different areas ranging from operations to client facing roles, setting up departments, strategic and project management. Having a very creative mind and a passion for design I decided to embark on a qualification in interior design in 2013 while maintaining my full time job.

I wanted to have the flexibility to study on my own time while maintaining my full time job.  Moreover, I wanted to obtain a qualification from a reputable industry institution. After proper research and following an open evening at KLC I opted for the Open Learning course at KLC as it gave me full flexibility with my studies with ongoing online support from the tutors.

Can you identify some of the highlights and challenges of your time at KLC?
Admittedly trying to fit and juggle studies on top of a very demanding job, which necessitated long working hours, did not come without its challenges and there were times where I felt I was trying to do a ‘Mission Impossible’ task.  However, I was thoroughly enjoying putting the theory and knowledge gained through the course into practice in the various project work.  Although it may sound odd, despite the limited hours available for studies, the course work was a form of escapism from my usual work routine.  This coupled with the encouragement after feedback from the tutors received for each module kept me motivated to keep nudging forward.

I found the Kickstart Your Interior Design Studies day course extremely beneficial as it helped me build a strategy on how to tackle the course. I enrolled for this shortly after receiving the course material.  Having never touched a technical drawing pencil in my life before I embarked on this course, I decided to do the Introduction to Technical Drawing day course.  This helped me get up to speed quickly with the technicalities and allowed me to meet and interact with other students and share experiences while meeting some of the tutors.

I always set myself a realistic deadline for each module and worked towards that target. After submitting each project, I gave myself a month's break from studies to enable me to recharge my batteries. My advice is for students to make use of the great online support that the tutors provide and to ask questions when they are unclear about things. 

Studying on your own can be challenging, as you never know if you are really on the right track until you get feedback from the project work submitted but there is a great facility for Open Learning students that should not be under estimated. 

Most of my queries were sent by email in the evening and by the time I got home from work the next day I always had feedback.  Although not a mandatory requirement half way through the course I decided to learn Vectorworks (the Beginners and Intermediate courses run at KLC) and this was another useful investment of time/money.

What kind of projects have you been working on recently?
I currently work on several residential projects in Moscow and Marbella and also 1 commercial project in Spain. One apartment that I have recently completed in Moscow was featured in various magazine publications around the world, including America, Portugal, Singapore and India.

What advice would you give anyone starting out in the industry?
Putting together nice portfolio and website is very important - that’s what most of the clients will look at. Marketing and networking is crucial as well - connecting with real estate agents, developers and also getting published in various editions (online and offline) helps to get consistent flow of clients.

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