Melina - University of the Arts London, Interior Design
Date attended Ashmole: 2004 - 2011
A Levels: Double Art, R.S, History (plus Modern Greek)
University: University of the Arts London
Course: Interior Design
What are you doing now?
I am a practising Interior Designer, working for a great firm that specialises in retail and restaurant & bar design. I work on projects right from the initial concept ideas, all the way through to completion. This is a great balance of being involved in the creative side of design – how something looks, and also the technical side of the industry – how things work.
What did/do you get involved with at university?
Outside of my course, I didn’t get involved in many other things within my university, as in my spare time I enjoyed volunteering through my parish Church, whereby I would often help to organise and assist with any events.
What did you find most valuable about your experiences at Ashmole Academy? What skills did it help you to develop?
My experience at Ashmole was overall a great experience. The thing that sticks out the most for me is the high level of teaching and how much our teachers genuinely cared about us. My two form tutors from Year 7-11 made sure that we were developing into well-rounded young people and had a profound impact on me. When choosing GCSE/A Level subjects, we were very much encouraged to choose subjects that not only would help shape our future, but ones that we enjoyed. I was unsure about my A Level subjects but this guidance helped me tremendously to make the right decision for my future. In addition, the infamous ‘be the best you can be’ has followed me throughout my life after leaving Ashmole, and is definitely something that I always try to maintain.
What top tips would you give to other students wishing to follow a similar career to yours?
The best advice that I have received about following a career in the design world is to get as much practical experience as you can, to really get to know how the industry works. We are lucky enough to be in a global city that very much embraces the Arts; take advantage of this! Most museums/galleries always have events on for young people and networking events especially are so invaluable for an industry that really is built on connections.
How did Ashmole help you reach your goals?
The teachers at Ashmole were very encouraging as far as self-confidence is concerned. I wasn’t the most confident in my abilities but I was always pushed in the right way and it resulted in me getting into the university that I wanted to be a part of.
Anything else you would like to tell us about yourself.
I found university very challenging in terms of the transition from Sixth Form to higher education; it is a very, very different environment. However, the foundation that I gained from being at Ashmole gave me the confidence to persevere and continue to put myself in unfamiliar environments and challenge myself, so that I was able to complete my degree successfully.
Please write a quote that sums up your experience at Ashmole.
‘Ashmole was an environment in which I could enjoy the process of learning, alongside being supported to achieve my full potential’