The newly constructed office suite still smells of fresh paint. The owners walk through the bare, echoing rooms, pleased with their masterpiece and are glad that their new company is almost ready to begin operating.
As Lisa Lin tours the new building with its owners, she studies the size and features of each room, knowing that her job as interior designer has only begun.
Lin will be graduating from Sam Houston State University in May with a degree in interior design, and will immediately go to work for prestigious design firm M Moser Associates, an international company with 16 offices worldwide.
Lin decided she wanted to work for M Moser after considering numerous companies because of her international background and then strived very hard to achieve her goal.
“Through an extensive research, I found M Moser, who spoke to my passion in commercial design and different cultures,” Lin said. “I contacted the director of the Houston office, Dick Markel, to express my interest..”
Her job at M Moser will include all the aspects that go into designing a commercial project, including the actual design, client communication and construction overview.
“My role as a designer is providing suitable and constructible solutions for the clients through various communication methods including research, interviews, visual aids and more,” Lin said. “Throughout the constructing process, my job also includes site visits and continuous communication to all stakeholders to ensure the quality of final products.”
To get the job at M Moser, Lin first had to work on her resume, make connections in the design world and volunteer in the design community to gain experience.
“At the beginning of job search, I applied to approximately 50 companies but received zero feedback,” Lin said. “I decided to switch gears: [I] updated my resume and portfolio, [and] exposed them on design networks and job search websites. I started volunteering at a design community and made connections. I also did a lot of research to improve my job searching skills. At the end, I finally started receiving phone calls and emails, even from my home country.”
Laura Burleson, one of Lin’s professors, praised Lin’s diligence in striving to achieve the job she wanted.
“Lisa set a very high goal of working for a top interior design firm that had international connections,” Burleson said. “Through her connection as an ASID volunteer she met the lead architect in M Moser Associates Houston office. Everyone in the interior design program was pleased when the company decided to hire Lisa this spring and use her employment time as her internship.”Lin said during her education at SHSU — having the opportunity to not only learn in a classroom — helped, but being able to work as a student worker helped prepare her for her future career.
“In addition to the knowledge learned from classes, the experiences of working as a teacher’s assistant and student worker really improved my social and communication skills,” Lin said. “I have changed so much from a quiet, shy person to one who enjoys interacting with people. SHSU helped me build the confidence I need to succeed in the real world.”
In addition to working on campus, Lin also felt that certain professors on campus really helped her learn what she needed for the job.
“Dr. Burleson granted me the opportunity of working in studios in which I was educated more than I could assist her,” Lin said. “Dr. White took me in as a student worker, and I gained the experience of working at an office which I could have never learned in class. Ms. Brock changed my perspective [about] this industry from her extensive knowledge and real-world experience.Mr. Landa shared his important business experience which gives me [a] “cushion” [when] entering the real world. Each and every one of them is equally important to my college career in SHSU. I would never be who I am today without them.”
Burleson said that Lin would go very far in her future career because of her exceptional skills.
“I would like to say Lisa has absolutely amazed me with her attention to detail, and interior design is full of details,” Burleson said. “Lisa’s work is totally complete down to the smallest detail. It has truly been a joy to watch Lisa move to the professional interior design level and I wish her continued success in reaching her dream of becoming a registered interior designer.”
Shelby Brock, another professor of Lin’s also praised her as both a student and a designer.
“Lisa is an exceptional student who was a pleasure to have in my interior design courses,” Brock said. “Her passion and drive to create unique and client driven spaces is exemplified in every project she completes. She is a thorough researcher and constantly pushes herself to further her knowledge of CAD, building codes, and construction techniques. I am honored to have been able to call her my student and I know that she will make Sam Houston State University proud.”
Lin said she knew she was ready to begin at M Moser, because of the education Sam Houston helped give her.”I am excited to start my career,” Lin said. “I know there will be challenges and there will be moments I might say ‘I wish I was still in school,’ but I’m ready for a bright future!”