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It's never too late to change career: Interior Design

Written by Yusuf Tamanna
Published date 14 October 2020

After a decade long career in sports, Peter Smith tells us how a short course helped him shift gears and focus on his next goal; interior design.

“I know everyone’s circumstances are different and quitting your job to do a short course may seem pretty drastic, but it was right for me,” Peter Smith tells me.

Prior to attending the Introduction to Interior Design Part 1 (Online Short Course) in March, Peter enjoyed a successful decade-long career in sports. It enabled him to work across the world and for the last four years he worked for Manchester United football club – a job he admits didn’t require its staff to support the team.

Despite such a colourful and globe-trotting career in sports, Peter’s pivot from footballs to floor plans was his own personal way of giving his creative side some much-needed attention.

“I’ve always had a burning desire to fulfil my creative passion,” he says. “I looked at all the different options for entering into the interior design industry and UAL offered me everything I needed; the flexibility, industry leading tutors and a clear course journey planner, which I found super helpful.”

While on the course, Peter says one of the best things about it was being able to collaborate with students from across the world. The cosmopolitan make-up of the online class opened the floor to discussions about regional and international perspectives on interior design that he wouldn’t have got anywhere else.

In addition to learning from his peers, Peter is quick to stress that the strength of the course is thanks, in major part, to the tutors. “Any short course is only as good as the tutors teaching it. Lyndall Fernie and Gianfrancesco De Falco really are not only industry experts, but truly exceptional teachers. They are both super personable and passionate and made each session engaging and digestible, while also putting their own unique stamp on what's being taught. They are also on hand throughout the week for all your questions, which was invaluable.”

A self-confessed “interiors enthusiast”, Peter tells me the short course absolutely confirmed that working within interior design is where he belongs, especially as from day one on the course students are treated like a real interior designer. “The course is structured how it would be with a real-life client; writing a brief, creating the concept board and bubble diagrams, drawing the floor plan and elevations, and finally, presenting to the client - who in this case are the tutor and other students on the course.”

While his own journey to doing a short course might not be suitable for everyone, Peter urges other students to simply take a chance and try their hand at a short course. “By the time you've had a chance to reflect whether it was or wasn't the right decision, you could be in an online classroom presenting your sample board, detailed floor plans and elevations to other like-minded students.”

Having now completed the course, Peter is still in awe at how much he accomplished. “When I look back, it’s amazing how much I learnt in such a small timeframe. The plan is to combine what I’ve learned with my small but growing property portfolio...that’s the dream anyway!”

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Has Peter’s story inspired you to explore a career within interior design? There are plenty of entry points to get you started and our How to Become an Interior Designer article is packed with advice and ideas from those currently working in the industry.

Perhaps you’re intrigued at the idea of what a short course can do for you. Our upcoming online courses will show you what courses we are running and how they can get you started on your own creative expedition.

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