Student Spotlight: Allison Schutz
Major: Interior Design
Allison Schutz initially earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and printing.
Although she enjoyed her work, Schutz was frustrated by the amount of time spent on details for a piece that people may read once and throw away.
“My dad was in construction and I always liked building things,” she said. “I decided that I wanted to build something that people would not throw away. Graphic design is all about aesthetics, so interior design made sense.”
Schutz was accepted to graduate schools in Chicago, New York and San Francisco, but the costs frightened her. She previously took summer classes at College of DuPage while working on her bachelor’s degree and discovered COD offered some of the same interior design courses that other schools did.
“(Program Coordinator) Jane Kielb is a wonderful mentor. She said there was no need to get a graduate degree, and she was right. After one semester, Jane knew my name, and I discovered that the program is its own community and people care about each other.”
In 2016, Schutz and fellow Interior Design student Sara Venecek took first place during a design charrette sponsored by the Illinois chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers. Students and emerging professionals from across the state participated in the one-day event at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, and Venecek and Schutz earned first place in the Contract Division. Their project was to design a high-end guest suite for an actual hotel – the Park Hyatt Chicago. They were told about the client’s design aesthetic and given a budget, while photos of the hotel provided inspiration.
“One of the nice things in presenting our concept was that we represented COD,” Schutz said. “It showed people that we can compete with the four-year programs.”
Schutz hopes to work in the commercial sector on hospitality projects as well as become a lighting designer. She is impressed with the instructors at College of DuPage and the level of experience they have.
“The instructors come from the real world of design and they teach us what is in the real world,” Schutz said. “There’s no leeway on our assignments – they tell us, ‘This is the way it is.’ So during the charrette, the event started late and we lost time at the beginning. But thanks to COD, we knew how to handle it.”
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2017 College of DuPage