Pierpont interior design students tour, experience Omni facility
TIMESWV March 28, 2017
FAIRMONT — Omni Associates invited Pierpont Community & Technical College interior design students to the newly renovated Omni Associates building.
Draftsperson and designer Kayla Turner is a Pierpont graduate with an interior design specialty and certification in drafting. Interior design specialist Shayla Stemple graduated from West Virginia University and helped to start the interior design department.
“You kind of have to make design jobs in our area,” Stemple began. “So I walked in and told (Onmi) they could benefit from having interior designers in the firm.”
Now, Stemple said clients come in specifically for the interior design department.
“We’re getting to that point where we’ve become established enough in our interiors department that we want to bring people on,” she said.
Because she is only four years removed from school herself, she said she hopes she is someone the students can relate to.
“This is a good stepping stone for them and us to start working together and for them to use us as mentors,” Stemple said.
The design students and Pierpont associate professor Rachel Plybon Beach met with Turner and Stemple to walk through the building and see the library. The interior design library consisted of fabric samples, books, binders, past projects, current projects and floor samples lining the walls around the room. Stemple and Turner talked to them about the professionals they work with, projects they do and responsibilities they have.
Beach said the students have already benefitted from Omni’s interior design department.
“I’m very happy they got to experience an actual materials library … and being able to listen to the designers and what they do day-to-day,” Beach said. “My hope is — we’ve been working on developing this relationship — I’d like to see a rotation of my students in here.”
“What I want them to get out of today … is to see just a day as a designer at a firm,” Stemple said.
“And to be aware of what materials are used for certain aspects … and what function they all serve,” Turner added.
Beach said she would like to see her students going to Omni for practicum and to get experience in the workplace. Stemple also said she is looking into interior design internships.
“I definitely feel more confident that there are a lot of professional jobs (in Fairmont),” Pierpont student Jennifer Shelford said about her experience at Omni.
“And it opens your mind a lot more to what there could be,” Pierpont student Kaitlyn Robinson added.
Concerning interior design at a firm, Pierpont student Carolynne Leasure Pitts said, “I think it’s a great option for you depending on what kind of day-to-day activities you like.”
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