Interior Designer at Northwick Design - Rebecca Thomas

Course: BA (Hons) 3D Design – designer maker

Current Location: London

“It was a great course and the tutors were all very helpful and supportive throughout the course and after graduation... We were taught a variety of materials and manufacturing processes on the course, which has been particularly helpful when dealing with trades.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

After graduating, I worked for a couple of years as a furniture designer on many interesting projects and met some inspiring interior designers and architects. During this time, I got a real insight into building projects as a whole and decided this was something that I wanted to get more involved in. I started working as an intern for Chelsea-based interior designer Cathy Connolly, who later took me on as one of her designers. I have now been working for her for two years and have learnt so much in that time. I still really enjoy the daily challenges it brings.

How has your degree helped/influenced your career path?

My degree was a great way to enter the design world. It was an amazing experience being able to work alongside other creatives and being able to follow everybody as they pursue their own careers. Within my job, I really enjoy finding new young furniture designers to work with.

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?

Making a start within the design industry is really difficult. Employers are really keen for you to have lots of experience in all aspects of the job role, which is difficult to achieve.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

Soon after starting the job as an interior designer I got involved in a fun large project on the outskirts of London, which has just been published in Architectural Digest. It was a great project to do and working in a small company is great as I got to be involved in every aspect from start to finish.

Imagine you were about to start university again - with the benefit of hindsight - what would you now tell yourself to have done differently?

I definitely would have attempted to deepen my understanding of different design software. This wasn’t a huge part of the course and at the time wasn’t something I wanted to do; however, it is usually something which is asked for by many design agencies when you are looking for a job.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the same line of work?

It is hard to get the experience within the industry, so take any opportunities that come your way to do work experience or complete internships as it will be of great help when you start applying for jobs.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

It was a great course and the tutors were all very helpful and supportive throughout the course and after graduation. The discipline groups weren’t too big so everybody was very close and kept an interest in what each other were doing.

What lessons/skills did you gain from your course?

We were taught a variety of materials and manufacturing processes on the course, which has been particularly helpful when dealing with trades. We were taught the basics of design but we were also encouraged to do our own thing which was extremely positive.

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?

I have so many amazing memories from studying at Plymouth. I think most of them were in the lead up to the degree show, where it was nice to celebrate all of our achievements.  

Do you stay in touch with other Plymouth University alumni or lecturers?

Many of my course mates are still great friends; a few are living in London, others are spread around the country, but we try to meet up as often as possible. The lecturers often keep in touch too, which is lovely. It’s great to know they are still interested in what we are all doing.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University, and why?

Yes, Plymouth is such a great place to study. The university is all very modern and has everything you could need.

Inspired by this story?

Design Maker is one of three specialist pathways available as part of BA (Hons) 3D Design, alongside Spatial and Interior Designer and Product Designer. For more information about our range of courses within the School of Art, Design and Architecture, please visit the school page.

Want to find similar alumni?

If you would like to find out what other alumni from the school are currently doing, please visit the architecture, design, building and construction interest area.