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HOK, Philadelphia, PA

Xiao Long

MS Interior Architecture & Design 18

What are some of the rewarding aspects of your occupation and career? 

I’ve heard that “Architects (in our case, interior designers) are the only people who get to walk through their dreams.” It’s rewarding to see projects get built ground up, and every bit of if looks just like your imagination.  


What did you study for your undergraduate degree? Did it inform your choice of Interior Design as a career? 

I studied environmental design in China. It is mostly interior design but also includes knowledge on landscape architecture and city planning. It helped me understand spaces in various scales and realize that my true passion is to work with and for people on a more exquisite level. “God is in the details.” Some might say. 


Why did you choose Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design over similar programs? 

I always believe that design relies on imagination, but relies more on observation. Westphal is one of the very few schools that value both talents and offer training on both aspects extensively. Therefore, it’s not surprising to find out that Westphal is also one of the very few programs that is CIDA accredited, which is another reason I chose to go here. 


How did your time at Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design prepare you for your career? 

It prepared me for creativity, practical skills, and communication skills, which are mostly what we rely on every day. I felt quite comfortable when I started working, and I also can quickly pick up the things that I didn’t know because Drexel’s program, in my opinion, focused really well on not just “what to learn” but also “how to learn”. 


Was our faculty helpful to you in making the transition to a career in interior design? Are you still in contact with them? 

Definitely! And I’m always grateful for them! Out of the numerous examples, I remember when I first started working, (my first job in my life ever, very scary!) I would just stop by our department head’s office every week and she was really patient educating me as a prospect young professional. She also emails me after and made sure that I wasn’t mistreated by design firms due to my freshness or international identity. They guided me with knowledge and experience, but more importantly, they made me feel that I always have a place to turn to if I ever get lost. 


What advice would you give to someone considering returning to a Master’s program in interior design? 

If you have doubt in this, think harder. It is a VERY serious commitment. 

If this is your true passion: Strive and believe, Drexel will support you in any way they can.