UNI student wins interior design program – Northern Iowan

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Interior design student Jonathan Martin is a recipient of the prestigious Diversity in Design Pipeline program.

Jonathan Martin gets a place in Thermador’s Diversity in Design program, is in partnership with an interior designer

Jonathan Martin, interior design student at UNI, is the recipient of the prestigious Diversity in Design Pipeline program. This program started in spring 2021, by Thermador – a manufacturer of luxury appliances – and the Interior Design Society (IDS). The program welcomes five interior design students from across the country and pairs them with professional designers.

“It’s amazing to be a part of this program because I believe that many seniors, regardless of their program, are nervous about graduating and starting careers in their field of study. Martin said. “This opportunity gave me access to many professionals in the industry who have already been in my shoes and who have been very successful as interior designers.”

Martin, from West Liberty, found his passion with his mother, who was unable to obtain her own degree in interior design. Instead, she decided to raise her four children.

For Martin, the application was an easy process. Requirements included proof of financial need, letters of recommendation, three portfolio images and a digital copy of a transcript. He first received an email about the program from his teacher and advisor Gowri Betrabet Gulwadi. Gulwadi knew Martin was a non-traditional student, as he was the only man in a female-dominated profession and part of the LGBTQ + community.

The program provides unique opportunities for Martin, as each recipient receives a mentor as part of the program, and their mentor will assist each student throughout their final year and in a career after graduation. Martin’s advisor is Jonathan Savage of SAVAGE Interior Design, based in Palm Beach, Florida. The pair discussed networking and building a portfolio.

As part of the program, Thermador plans to bring recipients and their mentors at their headquarters in California at some point during the year. Martin will also receive a free IDS membership.

This The program will also help Martin find employment in the industry, and he has already received an internship offer from his mentor. He is eager to gain work experience and eventually start his own business and he will eventually be able to help students like him.

“Having the ability to connect with professionals outside of my circle here not only allows me to broaden my professional network before graduation, but also allows me to expand my knowledge through the mentorship portion of this program. ” Martin said.

Martin congratulates the UNI interior design program for the opportunities and the instructions it has received.

“The interior design program here at UNI is incredibly rewarding, stimulating and filled with excellent instruction,” said Martin. “When I decided to get into interior design, I had no idea how many paths a designer can take with obtaining this degree. If a student is interested in interior design as a profession, I strongly encourage them to explore all the avenues that this degree can offer. The support you receive from faculty and peers is amazing, and I feel very lucky to be a part of This program.”


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Billie M. Secrist

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