Alumni Stories

Curtis Smith

Interior Design

Design Administrator, Administrative Assistant, and HR Manager, Axiom Design Build
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division

Curtis Smith

My education gave me the start I needed to get my foot in the door. In the end, I hope to finish my bachelor’s degree in Interior Design and become a designer. Curtis Smith , Design Administrator, Administrative Assistant, and HR Manager, Axiom Design Build Diploma in Residential Planning, 2017 , The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division

Handles Multiple Office Tasks, Gaining Design Insights from Experienced Professionals 

Curtis Smith says that in his role at Axion Design Build, he handles multiple tasks in the office—everything from human resources to administrative assisting to helping the office manager. “I also assist the interior designers in specing out products, finishes, and designs for our clients,” he says. Curtis’s work history includes retail and customer service jobs, and with the assistance of his Residential Planning Diploma, earned in 2017 from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division, he’s transitioned into a job where he can work directly with interior designers.

“Without my connection to The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division, I would not have been considered for the position that I have today.” He encourages current students to keep pushing forward—advice he had to take when he moved from Missouri to Seattle, Washington and landed on hard times. He ended a relationship with his partner, had his work hours cut, and applied for countless jobs. After filing for bankruptcy, he managed to turn things around—including completing his education. “I work for a design build company now. I'm in my dream field, working towards my dream job.” 

Curtis admits that his passion for design drives his work. And he’s been willing to start at the bottom to make his way to the top. “You have to stay up late, say no to hanging out, work through personal struggles, and endure hardship. It's all worth that final handshake in the end that gets you there.” He’s using his current job as an opportunity to learn from experienced designers and is excited to have moved into an HR position that shows he’s a trusted member of the team. It puts him one step closer to his goal to one day become a designer himself. 

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