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Hayley Harding

Graduated 2012

BA (Hons) Interior Design graduate, Hayley Harding

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 (around 6,000 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, it 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?