Skip to main content
Hayley Harding, BA (Hons) Interior Design graduate

Hayley Harding

BA (Hons) Interior Design

Graduated 2012

Hayley Harding, BA (Hons) Interior Design graduate

This course is for you if you love a challenge, paired together with creativity.

How did university prepare you for your career?
University taught me the fundamentals I needed for the workplace and to put the skills I’d learnt into practice. I got to learn about each component that makes up a project from inception to completion, as well as how a business in this industry might operate. The course allowed me to grow in confidence, especially when presenting my ideas to an audience, something that has been crucial in my career progression and personal growth.

What has your career highlight been?
There are quite a few, but most recently I was trained to deliver mental health and wellbeing workshops titled ‘Conversations for Health’, I was part of a small group of 12 people who would then go on to deliver training to the entire organisation (6,000 odd people) on the importance of wellbeing. I love a challenge and it put me out of my comfort zone but I’ve loved the experience, I’m able to engage with so many different people and hopefully have a positive impact in the world of mental health and wellbeing. 

What are the biggest challenges of working in your industry? 
It can be a challenge to get your voice heard sometimes. However, just because your voice is not heard the first time, doesn’t mean it won’t ever be heard. You often have to knock on many doors before one opens, but if you persevere the opportunity is available to you, often it’s down to you to carve and shape, don’t always expect it to be presented to you. 

What tips would you give to someone wanting a career in your industry?
Be kind, be open minded and learn to actively listen. Get involved in different parts of the industry, don’t be scared of moving around or asking to take on different tasks or roles – it’s all part of the experience and will help shape where you want your career to go. Also, don’t rush it. Enjoy the journey and be open to new experiences, even if they scare you. Say yes to things you think you might not be capable of; you might just surprise yourself and what’s the worst that can happen? 

Discover BA (Hons) Interior Design 

Julia Haizelden - BSc (Hons) Construction Management graduate

Julia Haizelden

BSc (Hons) Construction Management

Graduated 2019

Julia Haizelden - BSc (Hons) Construction Management graduate

Every year, what I learnt at university I'd then go out and use in the workplace which really aided my development. 

Tell us about your job role:
I’m a design manager so my main role is managing design teams to complete a project in the best way possible. I could be driving to site for design team meetings with architects and engineers or, depending on the stage a project is at, working in the office on drawings and making sure they are compliant. I also work on bids and tenders to win more work, and check projects to make sure they are financially viable in terms of buildability.


What's next for you?
I had been studying part-time for five years while working full-time, so having completed my degree I am focusing on continuing my development and progression at work and look to achieve CIOB chartered membership.

What top tips would you give to future construction students?
Ask questions! If you are unsure of anything, the best thing to do is ask – especially when it comes to assignments, to make sure you write what is expected of you. Also, don’t leave anything to the last minute – it’s useful to be able to show your work to your lecturer regularly – and weeks in advance of your submission date – to ensure you’re on the right track and can make any necessary changes, so that you get the best mark you possibly can.

Discover BSc (Hons) Construction Management 

April Rapley - BA (Hons) Architectural Technology graduate

April Rapley

BA (Hons) Architectural Technology

Graduated 2017

April Rapley - BA (Hons) Architectural Technology graduate

This course is for you if you have a passion for all aspects of building design - from initial ideas through to construction.

Tell us a bit about the course
It allows you to look at the buildability and functionality of a building you’re designing and how your choices impact these aspects. The course also has a strong focus on live briefs, to give you an understanding of how the process works in the real world.

How did Solent prepare you for your career?
This course is more than just the building design; it covers specification writing, project management, procurement methods as well as the technology of construction. It allowed me to show key skills in many areas required throughout the building process.

Favourite Solent memory?
The end of year show in my third year. This is an event to showcase our work from the final year to friends, family and industry professionals. Having my work looked at and praised by a complete stranger really made the work I had put in over the three years feel important.

What tips would you give to someone wanting a career in this area?
Take advantage of any learning opportunity; meet people in the industry and connect with them -this will open so many doors for your career.

Discover BA (Hons) Architectural Design and Technology 

Nadia Ponte's work

Nadia Ponte

BA (Hons) Interior Design

Graduated 2019

Nadia Ponte

The best bits of my course would have to be the variety of projects we got to work on - a mix of report writing, themed projects and live project designs."

Tell us a bit about your job role: 

I am currently working for an interior design company which specialises in designing for the health and wellbeing of their clients, which includes designing for those with dementia, such as care homes and residential projects. The job role mainly includes designing spaces with the concepts of colour, furniture and circulation in mind. I specifically focus on the design side, which involves the use of Sketch-Up and AutoCAD to present theme designs to the clients, along with going to client meetings to build mood and sample boards.


What are the top three things Solent taught you?

Solent taught me a lot throughout the three years. Primarily, time management, via all the units that the course provided – with help from my lecturers and friends, it all combined to shape and strengthen me, and set myself deadlines, which is vital for the industry. Secondly, I also learnt how to be more independent. Thirdly, Solent taught me how to research properly – it is a highly valued skill in many professions and, with the support of the job I took on at Solent as an architectural research assistant for the new sports building, my research skills have developed hugely and have opened up an interest in the academic world of interior design.

What advice would you give to someone wanting a career in this area?

Keep yourself up-to-date with all deadlines, as it will not only help you along your course journey but also in the future in the industry, as organising your time management is a key skill which employers require. But most importantly, enjoy yourself at university – it’s an experience like no other.

Discover BA (Hons) Interior Design

Get ready to find your place

Experience life at Solent at one of our open day events.

Register for an open day