Pia Concepcion was the 2016 Valedictorian of Bachelor of Interior Design program. Pia was born and raised in Mississauga, Ontario and now lives in downtown Toronto. In this Q&A Pia talks about how she dreamed of working in the design industry and how the BID at Yorkville University (formerly offered at RCC Institute of Technology) helped her get there.
YU: What brought you to this BID program?
PC: I was looking to change career directions and the Bachelor of Interior Design Degree was the most suitable for me because it has the flexibility of completing some or all of the program online allowing me to continue working.
YU: Why did you choose the Bachelor of Interior Design Degree (at Yorkville University)?
PC: I knew I wanted to be in the design industry and have always had a love for interiors. It was important to me to get an interior design degree that is more skill based rather than conceptual since this is my second degree. I also liked the ability to finish a four-year degree program in 3 years. Finally, the program had to be recognized by ARIDO since I plan to take the NCIDQ exams.
YU: Why do you think you were chosen as the Valedictorian for your program?
PC: I think I was chosen because of my involvement in the school and the industry. I volunteered for ARIDO or other related events when I could and stayed active in the Deans Council. I also worked hard in the program and did what I could to get the most out of it.
YU: If you were to offer one piece of advice to an incoming student, what would that be?
PC: My advice would be that this program is intense and requires dedication and hard work, however, it is all worth it. You’ll come out with knowledge and skills that translate directly into the industry.
YU: What is one of the most important things you have learned/experienced at RCC?
PC: One of the most important things I have experienced in this program was my ability to do 75 per cent of the program online. This was my first time doing courses online and I was hesitant about the learning experience I would receive and the connection I would have with the other classmates and the professor. I was pleasantly surprised with my experience. I found that I got all the same elements from an in-person class but accessible at any time of the day or week. I could arrange my schedule around the other parts of my life making it easier to time manage work and school.
YU: What kept you motivated?
PC: The goal of eventually being able to work in design and being a part of and industry that I have so much passion for. Designing is exciting and I have never worked in an industry that I loved so much.
YU: What are your plans after graduation?
PC: My plans now are to continue to work for a design firm and gain experience of how things work in the industry. Eventually, I would like to pursue a Masters in Interior Design or something design related and perhaps teach occasionally on the side.
YU: What makes RCC and your experience here special?
PC: Coming out of the school with some great relationships with both faculty and other students. You get to know everyone on a more personal level because the class sizes are smaller. The industry is small and I look forward to crossing paths whether it is on a professional or personal occasion.
YU: If someone asked you to describe RCC to them, what would you say?
PC: I would say that this is a great school if you are looking for more flexibility and more one on one attention in your classes. The program is largely project based and having more time with the professor is very important to the learning experience. You have access to many resources including the professors whom many have had or are currently in the industry.