Where are you employed? Kristina Zanic Consultants, Dubai.
What are some of the exciting aspects of your occupation and career?
Felch: I love travelling to new places and engaging with new cultures. Designing hotels in countries all over the world allows me a special peek into the people, the history and the traditions of places I may not otherwise go. Shopping for furniture in Istanbul, hunting through Bazaars in Cairo, selecting sculptures in Bali and designing furniture in China….. all such memorable experiences I wouldn’t have without work.
What would you consider as your greatest achievement in this occupation?
Felch: Wow, this is hard; I’m only five years in, and hope the best is yet to come. I think my proudest moment was at the first hotel I was design lead on. At the end of the project the owner came over and gave me a hug because she was so thrilled with the project. A happy client is always an achievement.
Why did you decide to choose this career?
Felch: To be fair, I think design chose me, and not the other way around. I was in middle school, and we had to design a bedroom for one of my classes. Once design got into my system, it never let me go.
Why did you choose Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design over similar programs?
Felch: I chose Westphal College of Media Arts and Design for two reasons: 1. the study abroad program. 2. It was important to me to be in a city to learn about design. There’s so much to learn by just walking down the street in Philadelphia.
How did your time at Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design prepare you for your career?
Felch: Looking back at my time at Drexel, I think the design critiques are what stand out most. Training students for real world criticism and standing up for their design is a difficult task, but I think it’s one of the strongest points of the WCOMAD program.
How significant was your coop experience in shaping your employment?
Felch: My coop allowed me a chance to dip my toes in commercial, healthcare and hospitality design. It really reinforced my love of hospitality design, and I was lucky enough to be able to follow that path professionally after school.
Was our faculty helpful to you in making the transition from college to the professional world? Are you still in contact with them?
Felch: Yes. The faculty was extremely supportive during and after school. I’ll always look back fondly on my time with them.
What advice would you give to young people in your field who are just starting their education?
Felch: The all-nighters are hard, very hard; but so is your profession. Design is subjective, and there’s never enough time; that doesn’t change once you graduate. Savor your time in the studio; it’s something you’ll always remember.