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From corporate to creative: Brigita’s interior design career pathway

by Yvette Maurice

Brigita Krismayanti has creative ambitions. She is currently studying interior design with the aim of one day owning and running her own successful interior design firm.


Brigita Krismayanti now lives in Auckland but this Open Colleges interior design student used to live in Crows Nest, New South Wales. She explains that she “decided to go back to beautiful New Zealand” for her partner’s new business. But this design student has big career goals herself!

Brigita is part way through the Certificate IV in Design (specialising in Interior Decoration), a course that is comprehensive and teaches students skills such as how to read building plans, produce one and two-point perspective drawings, and how to interpret a client brief.

Getting ahead in her career by doing a course online

Students in this course also receive training in the development of original concepts, something that Brigita really seems to have next to no trouble with!

“I’ve been attracted to interior design since I was twelve years old!” says Brigita, “…but I was too afraid to go to interior design school, so I went and studied English Literature instead.”

Brigita has already been an academic achiever, having received a Bachelor Degree in English. She says, “When I got to Sydney, I decided  to reach for my dream, so I took this awesome course!”

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This is Brigita’s assignment. She designed a massage and learning centre called The Rhythm of Life

Interior design or decoration is a profession where the objective is to plan, design and supervise the construction of commercial, industrial, retail and residential building interiors. A designer’s goal is to produce an environment tailored to a purpose, with particular emphasis on space creation, space planning, and considering the factors that enhance living and working environments.

Jobs in interior design

In the last couple of years, according to the Job Outlook government website, there were nearly 8000 people employed as interior designers in Australia. This number is set to grow by 2017. It could be said that interior design would be regarded as a highly practical, tangible subject, where students need to use their hands. So, how does someone study a course like interior design online?

Brigita explains how it’s done: “Basically, you can do anything if you want to achieve something great at the end,” she says. Studying online can take discipline and planning but often suits students that have lots of commitments on their plate already.

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Some plans that design student Brigita drew up using Google Sketchup Pro

“The first months after I moved back to Auckland, I found everything really hard. Especially my new design course!” Brigita persisted, working with her trainer to bring her interior design work up to an impressive standard. Brigita finds influences from many types of sources.

“Nowadays it’s pretty easy to find everything from Google, You Tube and design magazines! The best thing about taking an online course is that I can study anytime and wear any clothes I want…and having a cup of coffee without any distractions!”

So far, Brigita has handed in some very impressive work, even using specialist design programs to make her assessments more professional.

“I’ve handed in a 3D model building of a massage and learning centre, “The Rhythm of Life”, from the last assessment,” she explains.

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Interior designers may design all sorts of spaces, including commercial, industrial, retail and residential spaces. Photo credit: Laurauinteriordesign via Wikimedia Commons

Brigita explains how she created her work with a specialist design program: “For all the design work, yes (I have used programs) such as Google Sketchup Pro 2013, but for the 3D model, I’ve done it manually.”

Brigita’s corporate past

Brigita has had an interesting career, having previously worked as a communications officer, in marketing and also as a software tester, meaning that she knows her way around computer programs and has a certain level of technical know-how.

Her trainer, Tracy Ingaldo, has praised what Kristy has handed in so far, saying: “When I first viewed her assessments, I was extremely impressed by Brigita’s professionally presented work. The time and effort she has placed into all of these tasks is commendable.”

The interiors trainer went on to say: “I wish her all the best in her future studies and I know that she would be a great asset to the exciting design industry.”

Tracy’s valuable input was really useful to Brigita. “Every time I got stuck,” the student says, “I always emailed her, and she replied it pretty quick!”

Brigita has both short term and long term interior design goals, as she explains, “My short term plan is to get a volunteer job (in interior design) to gain the experience. My long term plan in five years is that I want to have my own design firm.”

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Part of Brigita’s design for The Rhythm of Life interior

For now, Brigita is enjoying her life in New Zealand. “I live with my partner, Kerrin Roberts. He owns a software company in Auckland, and I’ve been working freelance for his company as a software tester and also in a part-time job as a administration assistant with an engineer and registered surveyor.”

In her free time, Brigita likes baking and gardening as well as navigating through the Certificate IV in Design (specialising in Interior Decoration) she is doing so well in.
This high-achieving student has good things to say about the Open Colleges experience, too.

“I found it fantastic!” she says. “The student lounge website (OpenSpace) is really easy to use.”

One other advantage of studying online with Open Colleges is the advantage of the cost-structure for visa holders.

“The best thing is,” explains Brigita, “I’m a temporary visa holder in Australia. When I called Open Colleges for the first time, they said the price is the same for all students, (Australians, permanent residents or temporary residents). That was a huge deal for me.”

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Photo detail of Brigita’s scale model for her interior design course

If you’re keen to study one of Australia’s most innovative and comprehensive online interior design courses, search courses in interior design here. For more information about Brigita’s course, read more about it by going to the Certificate IV in Design (specialising in Interior Decoration) course page.

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