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Alumni Stories

Alumni Stories

Take a look at what our young alumni have to say about Drexel and their careers!


Sherri King, class of 2004

Sherri King

Where are you employed? Jacobs Global Buildings Design, Philadelphia, PA

What are some of the exciting aspects of your occupation and career?
King: Extensive client interaction. I focus on corporate offices and really enjoy being able to work on all aspects of the job. I especially enjoy the programming phase, where I interact not only with management, but all levels of my clients’ employees to really understand what they do and how they work. From this information we design a space that not only is aesthetically pleasing but helps them work more efficiently than in the past by providing the resources they need.
King: In High School I was interested in architecture and took many art courses. In a course called "Environmental Design", we designed a complete home. Each semester we worked on a different piece of the project: plans, landscape, interiors and we built a model. I really enjoyed the interiors aspect and with the encouragement of my teacher explored the field of Interior Design for my higher education.

Why did you choose Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design over similar programs?
King: I knew I wanted to be in a city and NYC has never been desirable to me. I was accepted to other Philadelphia area schools, but the Co-Op helped make my decision easy.

How did your time at Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design prepare you for your career?
King: The courses are extremely relevant to what we do in the real world. The mix of full time and adjunct faculty is a plus because the full time faculty have mastery of theory, where the adjunct faculty are working professionals.

How significant was your coop experience in shaping your employment?
King: Priceless! I landed my first job at one of the city’s top design firms because of my Co-Op experience there.

Was our faculty helpful to you in making the transition from college to the professional world? Are you still in contact with them?
King: I'm sure if I needed assistance it would have been there from the faculty. But, for me, I can't say I received much "help" but also didn't request any. I am still in contact with some faculty.

What advice would you give to young people in your field who are just starting their education?
King: As with all things in life, in this program, you get from it what you put in. How hard you apply yourself will affect your career path, so put in a lot if you want to get ahead.


Sara Felch, class of 2006

Sara Felch

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.


Kathryn Hunchar, class of 2007

Kathryn Hunchar

Where are you employed? Meyer Design, Inc. in Ardmore, PA

What are some of the exciting aspects of your occupation and career?
Hunchar: I really enjoy seeing projects I've worked on come to life. It's amazing to see something that you’ve dedicated so much time and energy to planning on paper actually be built. It is also very gratifying to help my clients and witness their excitement first hand when they see their new space.

What would you consider as your greatest achievement in this occupation?
Hunchar: Honestly, when my clients are proud and thrilled with the end result of their project, that gives me the greatest sense of accomplishment and motivation. From projects big to small that feeling never changes.

Why did you decide to choose this career?
Hunchar: It's hard to make a decision as big as your career in high school. I had been back and forth between studying Physical Therapy and Interior Design for a couple of years. However, ever since I was young I had always been inspired by seeing new spaces and interiors. As much as I enjoyed science and math, I knew I wanted to do something creative. Once I read about the interior design curriculum, I knew that I had to go for it.

Why did you choose Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design over similar programs?
Hunchar: Once I saw the line-up of courses that Drexel offered in the interior design major, everything clicked. I knew it was what I wanted to pursue. I hadn't realized it at the time, but having a world class city at your fingertips was a huge benefit. Philadelphia offers so many resources and endless inspiration.

How did your time at Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design prepare you for your career?
Hunchar: Drexel's interior design program exposed me to so many aspects of design. The process that the program takes you through, starting with design theory and art history progressing all the way to specific design studios that focus on residential, commercial & hospitality design opened my eyes to more aspects of design than I even knew existed prior to entering into the program.

How significant was your coop experience in shaping your employment?
Hunchar: HUGE! I ended up working at the firm I did my coop at for 5 years after graduation. There is nothing like Drexel's coop program. It is a great introduction to your future profession and the working world. It's also a very valuable way of making professional contacts. The network I created during my coop experience continues to help me through my professional life 7 years later.

Was our faculty helpful to you in making the transition from college to the professional world? Are you still in contact with them?
Hunchar: I haven't stayed in very close contact with the faculty, but when I see them at industry events it's great to have the connection with them. While I haven't kept in the best touch, I know that they're always there to help. The design industry in Philadelphia is a very close knit group which is a great, reassuring feeling.

What advice would you give to young people in your field who are just starting their education?
Hunchar: It's not a walk in the park, but I promise that your dedication pays off! Get involved, challenge yourself & learn from all of the creative people around you. A big part of design is problem solving. It's amazing how many ways there are to do the same thing.


Bethany Abramson, class of 2012

Bethany Abramson

Where are you employed? Melton Design Build in Boulder, CO.

What are some of the exciting aspects of your occupation and career?
Abramson: Working at a design-build firm, I get to see my design all the way from conception to the final walk through. That is extremely gratifying. When you do everything in house from selling the job to space planning, FF&E, rendering, estimating and finally building the project you achieve a much more intimate knowledge of the job and the customer.

What would you consider as your greatest achievement in this occupation?
Abramson: I'm still pretty new, and so there's a huge learning curve. I'm proud that I'm holding my own against people who have been in this business for decades!

Why did you decide to choose this career?
Abramson: While some people have been sketching rooms and playing with doll furniture since they were children, there are also those of us whose route to this career are less fairytale-like. I would say this career chose me. I started out in the Design & Merchandising program and I was floundering. I knew I had to make a change. I made a leap of faith and fell in love. Interior design is the best of all worlds for me because a successful design requires both brains and beauty.

Why did you choose Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design over similar programs?
Abramson: I came to Drexel for the co-op experience. When I visited the school and got to speak with current students about all of the skills they gained during their co-op I was sold.

How did your time at Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design prepare you for your career?
Abramson: Drexel had a very comprehensive program. While I didn't realize or appreciate it at the time, it truly prepares you for every aspect of the business from basic design principles to software knowledge and construction documentation. I am especially appreciative of the thoroughness of my education. Now that I am in a design-build firm and responsible for all aspects of each design project!

How significant was your coop experience in shaping your employment?
Abramson: I found that employers were very impressed with the amount of responsibility and the variety of tasks I was given during my co-op. Since my experience was well-rounded I was able to apply to an array of jobs even though my co-op was strictly health care.

Was our faculty helpful to you in making the transition from college to the professional world? Are you still in contact with them?
Abramson: Drexel faculty and its alumni are great in helping students transition to the professional world. I get e-mails frequently with information about job postings and I've been in touch with a few professors when seeking advice on how to go about beginning freelance work.

What advice would you give to young people in your field who are just starting their education?
Abramson: Pay attention in every class! Like I said before, Drexel offers an amazing array of classes touching on almost every aspect you will need in the professional world. Even if it seems less exciting than a studio class, a furniture history class, lecture on material applications, or a lesson on codes will do you wonders down the road.


Emily Lopez, class of 2013

Emily Lopez

Where are you employed? Jacobs, Global Buildings Design, Raleigh, NC.

What are some of the exciting aspects of your occupation and career?
Lopez: I am very involved in all aspects of the projects we are currently working on. Two of our biggest projects in process that I am working on are very different; one being a large commercial project, the other being a local performing arts center. For the performing arts center, I was able to put my 3dsMax rendering skills to use and create a package that helped sell our design intent to the client.

What would you consider as your greatest achievement in this occupation?
Lopez: My greatest achievement is landing a job at a global A&D firm as an interior designer. It has presented me with many of the opportunities that I hoped for during my time at Drexel.

Why did you decide to choose this career?
Lopez: I have always had the idea that every space should evoke some kind of experience for its users. Whether it be a space that inspires creativity, provokes the drive to succeed, or temporarily transforms reality into something more fanciful.

Why did you choose Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design over similar programs?
Lopez: Drexel's reputation and co-op program brought it to the top of my list when making the decision on where to attend college.

How did your time at Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design prepare you for your career?
Lopez: The classes and programs at Drexel provided me with the tools I needed to apply myself in the professional world. From the computer graphics programs and the studio classes to the co-op experience, I have found that everything has somehow lent a hand in helping me to achieve what I have thus far.

How significant was your coop experience in shaping your employment?
Lopez: The co-op experience was extremely significant in shaping my employment. From the interview stage, during the experience I gained those six months, straight through to the contacts and references I made at the end. Every bit of it has been beneficial in my professional growth, to include building my resume and portfolio, making me a better candidate for employers.

Was our faculty helpful to you in making the transition from college to the professional world? Are you still in contact with them?
Lopez: The faculty was very helpful in the transition to the profession. A number of my professors offered to serve as a professional reference. I was also offered professional contact information after I made the move out of state.

What advice would you give to young people in your field who are just starting their education?
Lopez: Take the educational experience seriously. Begin your professional career in the classroom. Your professors and instructors are professionals in the field you wish to work in, so they may end up being your best asset for the connection that will get your foot in the door.