When Maha Dahroug relocated to Canada from the Middle East eight years ago, she seized the opportunity to reinvent her career.
“When we moved here, I decided it was the time to start fresh, to start everything from scratch and to finally do what I love,” said the lifelong interior design aficionado, who spent years working as a corporate communications professional in Abu Dhabi before moving to Toronto.
“I’ve loved interior design ever since I was a little kid. It has always been my passion. I got distracted a little bit working in communications, but design was always at the back of my mind. And that’s why I finally just said, ‘I have to do this. I have to follow my passion.’”
It was in that pursuit of her life’s true calling that Dahroug discovered Yorkville University’s on-campus Bachelor of Interior Design (BID) program – a “rigorous” three-year degree program recognized by the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) and accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).
Taught by a faculty of professional, industry-connected instructors, Yorkville’s BID program offers intensive, hands-on training that aims to prepare students to enter into the interior design industry in three years or less.
“I like that it’s very intensive, and I feel like I got all that I needed to start my professional career through my study years here,” said Dahroug, who graduated from Yorkville in 2018 and now works as an interior designer for HOK Toronto.
“I loved that the classes were small. We all knew each other very well, we had a very close relationship with our teachers, and we could ask for help and support any time and get it.”
Another big takeaway from her time studying at Yorkville, Dahroug said, was the emergence of her affinity for sustainable design – something she’s since parlayed into graduate studies at the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID).
“It was during school that I got so passionate about sustainable design. I kept searching and looking to pursue a career in designing sustainable interior environments – and that’s why I chose my Masters program,” said Dahroug, who’s currently finishing up her first semester in the Master of Professional Studies in Sustainable Interior Environments program at NYSID.
“I feel it’s the future, and that it’s our responsibility as designers to always think about sustainability – that’s our responsibility to our clients and the environment.”
Now an LEED Green Associate certified designer, Dahroug said she aspires to specialize in designing sustainable environments upon the completion of her Masters degree from NYSID.
The graduate program, which is delivered online, promises to prepare design professionals such as herself to “assume leadership roles in developing and maintaining sustainable interior spaces that will positively impact the world.”
“The reason why I chose the New York School of Interior Design is they are the only school that offers a completely focused program on sustainability, and that’s exactly what I was looking for,” Dahroug said.
“It’s a very interesting field, it’s very broad, and it’s very exciting. So, I encourage people who are very passionate about interior design and sustainability to start now. It’s the right time.”