Aggressive Two-Year Business College Program Churns Out Students Ready to Hit the Ground Designing
About 30 students in LDS Business College’s interior design program recently showcased their knowledge and skills in the annual Interior Design Portfolio Exhibit.
It was a moment of truth. Four years of learning packed into a two-year program had demanded much, and on this day a week before graduation, those left standing felt relief and satisfaction - but mostly relief.
To be sure all was perfect, each student took one last, scrutinizing look at his or her display. One straightened a picture, while another wiped a wisp of hair from her face and dried a drop of water from her portfolio.
The remaining dozen students gradually gathered in the middle of the exhibit floor, satisfied that they had done their best. They drifted around the room, stopping now and then to praise each other for a good sketch here or a clever design there, or maybe an innovative logo up top. Then they quietly sifted out the door and off to class.
The room was suddenly quiet, creating a sense of a silent celebration. It stood in stark contrast to the night before when families armed with electric power tools descended in waves to assemble their student’s masterpiece. Display boards towered over the heads of the students. One even hauled in a tree stump for her display.
All that remained after the rigors of this two-year course was the opinion of the judges, who entered one door as the students walked out another.
The interior design program at LDS Business College has proven to be among the elite in Utah. Students from the business college often place in the top three in the statewide International Interior Design Association Student Portfolio competition, often garnering several of the prestigious awards.
“I came here because of the convenience,” said Jennifer Lowe, a student. “The program offers the same experience as a four-year program, but in two years. I was surprised at the amount of work.”
“The pressure is hard,” added Mindy Luthi, who suggested that this group of friends meet every week for lunch after graduation. “It prepares us for life. The program is hands-on, like we’ll see in the real world.”
The exhibit emphasizes branding, said Miles Hunsaker, director of the program. The students discover their design personality and voice.
“The exhibits have improved over the years,” he added. “It’s not anything we’ve encouraged. They’ve done it on their own. The first-year students come through the exhibit to see what will be expected of them the next year. In the process, they conceive new ideas and elevate the quality.”
Among the judges was Lindsey Treasure, a working professional who graduated from the business college’s interior design program five years ago, then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree.
“The students show very well,” she said, remembering the drama of the all-nighters. “The individuality and personality of each student comes out.”
“This program rates very well,” she continued. “Students can do the glamorous as well as the technical aspects of the work, like drawing and sketching as the department emphasizes.
“My mind is going crazy with new ideas,” she said. “This is a great creative intake.”
One judge gave high praise on a critique sheet. “Terrific. Looks like this student is ready to hit the market running.”