Alumni Stories

Enver Ismaili

Enver Ismaili

I took advantage of everything the school offered, from tutorials to webinars. Enver Ismaili Bachelor of Science in Interior Design, 2017 , The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division

Freelance Drafter and Rendering Artist, Discovered and Pursued Passion for Interior Design 

Enver Ismaili is a freelance designer who drafts construction documents and generates 3D models and renderings for architects and designers. “I have always have been a creative person, from the moment I was able to hold a crayon in my hand,” he says. Enver attended several schools before he began painting houses and working in construction. “I remember looking at shop drawings, trying to understand and read the blueprints. I never understood many of the symbols that were used on the drawing sets and I would refer to the legends—studying them to see what they meant.” He began working as a carpenter before moving into the hotel and restaurant industry, where he became fascinated with interiors.

While working in a hotel, he noted that while there were beautiful, practical spaces for guests, little consideration was given to employee workspaces. He later took on a position as a doorman and helped people with odd jobs—providing a glimpse into tenants’ interior decorating. He decided to go back to school to pursue what had become a true passion—interior design. “It offered the creativity I was looking for, used my knowledge of construction, and offered the ability to express my graphic design skills. Interior design allowed me to appreciate and understand how all the spaces I have admired can be turned into functional spaces for anyone who uses them.”

In addition to his freelancing, Enver is studying for the LEED Green Associates exam. He recently designed a mail room for a condominium complex, upgrading an existing space that wasn’t working well for tenants. He also works for two architects and an interior designer on a contract basis.

In 2017, he completed a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division. “Once I enrolled, I remember feeling intimidated but optimistic – and I took advantage of everything the school offered, from tutorials to webinars. When it came to the course work, I always took the course assignments a step higher to challenge me to keep working with these programs and to feel confident using them.”

He recommends that current students face challenges and never lose sight of goals. “It took me seven years to earn my degree and there were times I felt I would never finish. I look back and reflect on where I was back then compared to now. It is a great way to remind myself of what I accomplished.”

He adds that the industry is very fast paced, and designers should be prepared to work on multiple projects at the same time. “There are tight deadlines that need to be met and long hours are often required. If you have already been applying yourself in this way at school, just know it’s not that much different out in the industry. If you haven't been applying yourself, now is a good time to start developing that work ethic because it really is better to be prepared for it.”

Enver also suggests joining professional organizations while in school to build contacts and gain experience. “It’s a great way to meet new people and learn about new and innovative strategies that can be applied towards future projects. Depending on your area of interest, there is something for everyone and the topics of discussion range from areas on hospitality design, urban planning, office interiors, educational and medical facilities, better business practices, sustainable principles, and residential planning.”

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