Alumni Stories

Nicole Schneck

Nicole Schneck

The interior design program’s classes were helpful in preparing me to get projects done from start to finish. Nicole Schneck Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design, 2013 , The Art Institute of Houston

Specializes in Hotel Design for Worldwide Architecture and Design Firm

Nicole Schneck is an interior designer for Gensler, a global architecture and design firm with 40+ offices across the globe. “I currently work in the Lifestyle 2 studio in the Gensler Houston office where I specialize in hotel design,” she says. Nicole works in teams with project managers, fellow designers, and architects to create functional, beautiful spaces. Prior to joining Gensler, she worked at Mitchell Carlson Stone and Studio DW.

She says that each day at work is different—and fun. “About 90% of my job duties include communication—via phone, email or meetings. Design cannot be done without collaboration through all the proper channels. You have to be ready for whatever the day will bring you because it’s almost never exactly what you expected to get done that day.”

Nicole earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from The Art Institute of Houston in 2013. She adds that her education helped her to gain professional, communication, and networking skills. “The interior design program’s classes were helpful in preparing me to get projects done from start to finish.” She recommends that current students know that once they’re in the real world, seeing a finished project will make their work worth it. “Design touches so many lives in so many different ways and it's amazing that you will be able to do something so meaningful.”

She adds that her profession is challenging and ever-evolving. Her first job ended abruptly when the studio owner decided to shut down the business. Thanks to her networking, she was able to secure a new position. “You may think it won’t make a difference if you go to that lecture, or make an appearance at a showroom opening, but you never know who you could meet. The biggest thing I have learned since graduating is that the design world is very small! Everyone knows everyone.”

Today, she works in a creative and inspiring firm that features in-house design contests—just for fun. The innovative environment allows designers to get to know each other’s strengths while building friendships. In addition to her interior design work, Nicole is the programming director on a board that organizes networking events throughout the year, continuing education classes, organizes a biannual tradeshow, and holds an annual scholarship gala. “This year, we awarded $20,000.00 to students interested in pursuing careers in hospitality after graduation. It’s great to be able to hear these students speak at our gala—and their personal journeys and stories.”

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