Jordan Raymond is Alliance Architects’ most recent registered interior designer. Jordan joined Alliance in August 2014 and is a valued part of the team. Jordan recently, passed the NCIDQ Examination (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) therefore making the entire interior design department at Alliance Architects fully licensed. We sat down with Jordan recently to find out what it takes to qualify and prepare for the exam.
What interested you to pursue a career in interior design?
I have always had both a creative and analytical mind. I didn’t know there was a perfect career out there for me until I met a commercial interior designer. He explained that while designing a space that affects how people function in their environment, you also get to detail how things are built.
With regard to the test, what was the most difficult thing to overcome?
Not being able to prioritize the broad amount of information on each exam.
What was your roadmap or education path you chose to be qualified for the exam?
I knew I wanted to be a commercial interior designer before I started looking at colleges. I did my research and found out I needed to attend a CIDA accredited program. In order to qualify for the exam, you must join an accredited program, as well as have a certain amount of hours worked in the industry before taking the exams. If you do not go to a CIDA accredited program, the number of hours you must work before qualifying for the exams almost doubles. After that, I searched for the highest ranking programs and found Kansas State at #1. I decided to go for it and apply. Turns out to be the best decision I’ve made thus far.
How did you stay on track with studying? Balance work/life/home life…
Knowing what I had scheduled before and after the allotted exam dates, I scheduled them accordingly. Because of that, I missed out on a few family/social gatherings but knew the exams took priority. I also decided to study before work and during lunch so I could have my evenings free to decompress.
How did Alliance help you prepare for the exam?
I was very thankful to have co-workers who had recently passed the exams. Because of that, they gave me all their study material, along with tips and tricks for preparing for the exams.
What advice would you give to fellow test takers?
Sign up for a study program. I chose to use Qpractice. These type of programs help you organize and schedule you’re studying. They typically include a calendar schedule, study guide, overview of each chapter, practice quizzes, and practice tests.
Working at Alliance Architects, what has been one of your favorite projects and why?
Freeman Audio Visual. This project truly embodied the word “team”. The developer, designer, client, and contractor all collaborated to produce the best solution. As a 40,000 SF office finish-out, there were a lot of moving parts that needed all consultants and interoffice departments to find the most efficient and functional result.
What would you like to see more of in the design industry?
Designs that are not only aesthetically pleasing but truly functional. The end user being the main focus.
Anything else you would like to share with the readers?
Some members of the public who don’t understand what designers really do may wonder if interior design legislation is really necessary. But registered, licensed, or certified interior designers in some states can sign, seal, and submit drawings for permitting. While it’s true that they can make sure the space will look its best, they actually do much more than the public realizes. Interior design legislation sets the standards of practice to protect consumers. Legislation helps consumers know they’re working with qualified responsible professionals.
In regards to the test, complete this sentence: I wish I’d…
I wish I’d been more confident in my abilities. Working in the industry prepared me more than I thought and was able to pass all of the exams the first time.