Bronco Spotlight: Ashley Walters

Bronco Spotlight: Ashley Walters

Bachelor of Science in interior design, 2019

Designer 1 at Perkins Eastman

I am on the interiors team at Perkins Eastman in downtown Chicago. We specialize in senior living, hospitality, and corporate interiors. I spend my days designing both renovations and new builds. I get to help space plan, send out bids, write specifications, choose finishes and materials, create presentations, interact with sales reps and other industry professionals, and build models. 

What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is having the ability to create environments that both physically and mentally help people. I work a lot on senior living projects, which have a lot of negative connotations, but I can design for efficiency, safety, and beauty to help people think of senior living campuses as a positive. The most challenging part of my job is time management and coordination. In this industry there are a lot of moving parts in projects, and a lot of people who are associated with each project. So keeping track of everything and staying organized and on top of things is difficult. 

What activities, resources, or people helped you prepare for your career?

Taking part in both school and professional organizations definitely launched me in the right path. I also owe it to professors, friends, and loved ones for all their support and advice. I also think my greatest resource was meeting, connecting with, and learning about other students studying Interior Design, because I was able to learn something from each person I met to better my social skills and portfolio. 

What advice do you have for students?

I always like to tell other students to GET INVOLVED. There are so many great and creative designers out there, but networking and forming relationships with people in the industry is what will benefit you in the long run. Students need to join organizations and partake in events, competitions, volunteer, and put their name out there to be recognized. Also, from my own experience, I want students to understand that it is okay to fail. That they will only learn from each rejection and get better; there is always room to improve. You must be open to continuing your education, because with Interior Design, you will never stop learning.

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