Job Opening at HDW Interiors!


HDW Interiors is looking for a recent graduate or alumni to fill a position within their company. HDW Interiors is located in Merrillville, Indiana and would be especially convenient for members of the COD ID family who live in the Southern Suburbs. They specialize in healthcare, hospitality, education and general office design.

This position is great for people who have completed the FF&E class as part of their studies, as they are looking for someone who has experience with furniture specification software like ProjectMatrix or CAP 2020. Other great skills to have include AutoCAD and Sketchup.

If you feel like this is the perfect job for you, please email your resume and portfolio to Jean Nejman, their business director, at

Do you have a cool competition, job opportunity, or other design related news? Let us know! Email us and we’ll get it up on the blog.


IIDA RED Awards and ASID Excelence Awards Close Soon!

The IIDA RED Awards close to submissions soon and ASID Design Excelence Awards are opening to submissions soon. School may be out this week, but that makes it the perfect time to brush up your projects and submit them. The best part? You can use the same project for both competitions! Make the best of the time and perfect one project and submit it to both competitions to increase your chances! Remember, entering competitions is a great way to get your name and work out there!

The Red Awards close March 31st, the end of this week. Click the image below to go to the entry page.

2018 IIDA RED Logo Square

The Design Excellence Awards open April 9th, in two weeks. Click the image below to go to the entry page.

DE awards

Job Opportunities at OPTO International



OPTO International (Whom the Contract Studio class visited recently, read more about that trip here!) is looking to hire a Design Intern as well as a Design Assistant. OPTO is a fast-growing company and these would be excellent opportunities for anyone interested in retail or contract design.

For the Design Intern position, they are looking for someone who can:

  • Work effectively in a team environment and be a strong supporting member
    of team efforts
  • Exude positive attitude and enthusiasm for success and influence other with this
  • Demonstrate willingness to continually learn about the Retail Industry to better
    understand and grow OPTO in that market place
  • Prioritize and work independently with minimal supervision
  • Communicate quickly, clearly, and effectively
  • Multi-task and still maintain a sharp eye for detail
  • Demonstrate effective stress management & time management skills
  • Outstanding communication skills both verbal and written
  • Demonstrate strong organization skills
  • Effectively use AutoCAD, Adobe Creative Suite, and other applications

As the Intern, you would be responsible for:

  • Design Support
  • Prepare client drawings for client proposals
  • Prepare client drawings for client orders
  • Revise quotes
  • Enthusiastically communicate with design team
  • Collecting and mailing catalogs and finish samples to client
  • Support the replenishment of the materials library

The Design Assistant is a much more in-depth role and is perfect for someone who can do all of the above and is in possession of an Associates degree in art or design related fields. This is a perfect opportunity if you are set to graduate at the end of this semester!

The Design Assistant would be responsible for:

  • Concierge Services
  • Capture all prospect and lead data (Salescall inquiries and Web inquiries)
  • Proactively research and qualify incoming leads and assess opportunity potential
  • Establish a client profile for new opportunities with qualified information and
  • Educate prospects and leads on OPTO’s products and services
  • Traffic opportunities to Design team based on established criteria
  • Follow-up on prospects and leads with client specific material to help the
    design/sales process
  • Properly document communication between prospects and OPTO for ease
    of transition from concierge to Design team
  • Enthusiastically communicate with both prospects and colleagues
  • Understand the project requirements and properly communicate client
    interaction to Design team

If you are the person to fill either of these positions, please contact Shelly Mocchi for more information.

Do you have a cool competition, job opportunity, or other design related news? Let us know! Email us and we’ll get it up on the blog!

COD Student Yvonne Franchini on an award winning team at “Stitch”- an IIDA-Illinois Chapter Signature Event

kmr and i on stage

COD Student, Yvonne Franchini, and her friend, Katelyn (the model), on stage at the IIDA-Illinois Chapter’s signature event “Stitch”, held in March at the House of Blues.

We always encourage students to participate in events sponsored by our local professional design organizations. Let’s let Yvonne tell you herself why you need to take advantage of all of the opportunities you can:

“Stitch 2018 was without a doubt my favorite experience as a COD Interior Design student. Through the event I was able to not only network with a great group of Chicago architects, designers and manufacturers, but I was also given the opportunity to collaborate freely and creatively with them, as well as learn more about their companies and their contributions to the industry. I could not have asked for a better group of people to work with than those at Heitman Architects and Trendway. They gave me the creative freedom to take on a large portion of the project, and as a student that was a very satisfying feeling.”

KMR wins people's choice award!

Their entry won the “Andy Warhol People’s Choice Award”

“In addition, they took us to the Trendway factory in Michigan, where I learned a lot about the furniture-making process and their popular “Feek” material, which we used in our design. Heitman Architects uses some of the most innovative computer design technology to create in their work place and allowed us to experiment with all of it in order to better visualize our ideas. I could not be more grateful to these two companies for trusting me to take on so much of the project, and for giving me all of the knowledge and the tools necessary to do so. This project required a lot of organized meetings, group work, and creative problem solving, which helped me to better understand what it takes to work in this industry. By the end of this project, I had fully designed a beautiful corset out of Trendway chair backs.” 


“I was also placed in charge of hair and makeup the day of the event, and doing it was even more enjoyable because the model we used was my very best friend.”

makeup application

“My dad even helped out and the team was so thankful to him for lending his carpentry skills to our cause.  The rest of my teammates created a beautiful cape made of Trendway textiles, a skirt made of “Feek” and 3-D printed jewelry that displayed the Trendway logo and our art theme.”

led corset cage

“In the end, everything came together so well and all of our hard work paid off when we won the “Andy Warhol People’s Choice Award.” This experience, and all of the great people I worked with on this project will be unforgettable for me. Thanks to IIDA Illinois and College of Dupage for granting me such a wonderful opportunity!”

back of our shirts

Job Opportunity at Drapery Connection

Drapery Connection is looking for Students to help them schedule client appointments. They are looking for:

  • Someone who has “presence” and can quickly build not only rapport, but also confidence & trust with customers.
  • Your track record, talent & experience defines & matches what we need.
  • You have at least 4 years prior office or sales experience in a high volume, fast paced, customer focused environment.
  • You must be a self-starter, accept touch coaching, and be held accountable to agreed upon goals.
  • You excel making calls or interacting with clients over 50+ times a day, selling value and not price, and managing your time effectively.
  • You have an uncanny attention to detail that impresses your friends and family
  • You have “Presentation” skills from prior networking events, speaking engagements, or theatrical “on-stage” background, and welcome the chance to be “face to face” with clients.
  • Advanced skills in communication and technology (Microsoft tools and CRM) to enhance the customer experience.


The role entails:

  • Administrative prep for designers in putting together sales materials prior to client appointments.
  • Generating leads and scheduling clients in person and/or over the phone through marketing events, showroom consultations, call campaigns, social media, and other platforms to engage client interest.
  • 50% in the office (scheduling, design prep, marketing follow up), 50% in the field (events, showrooms, networking opportunities)
  • Ability to give clients the “concierge” treatment further developing long-term relationships and repeat/referral clients.

If you’re you think you’re the person for the job, email them at

Do you have a cool job opportunity, event, or other design related news? Let us know! We’ll get it up on the blog!

Internship at BOS

Business Office Solutions is looking to hire an intern! This is an excellent opportunity, especially if you are looking to enter the commercial and office design fields. They are looking for someone to:

  • utilize the library of samples of materials, including reorganizing samples, removing outdated materials, ordering new samples etc.
  • interact with company representatives to learn about new materials, quantities, characteristics and care; attending open houses etc.
  • put together presentation boards – both tangible and digital
  • shadow account managers on sales calls and presentations
  • sketching and rendering
  • use autoCAD
  • develop floor plans
  • 3D modeling

If this sounds like you, contact Carla Schroeder at BOS directly. If you want more information about the company or internship, you can contact Pam McClelland, who teaches multiple classes at COD and has worked at BOS in the past!

Have a cool intership, event, or other piece of design related news? Let us know! Email us and we’ll put it up on the blog!

Scholarship Opportunities!

Scholarships have started opening up everywhere for the 2018-2019 school year and it is never to early to start applying!

Firstly, the College of DuPage has lots of wonderful in-house scholarship opportunities, that many students don’t know about, and not all of them need you to fill out a FAFSA form to qualify. To get a general overview of of the college’s scholarship opportunities, click here.

The college also uses an easy-to-use system for matching students to the scholarships. It works a lot like the Common Application for colleges. You can find that system here, and you log in with your myaccess/blackboard/email log in.

Another great source of scholarships is from the professional organizations for the Interior Design Community. IIDA, ASID, and NEWH all have their own scholarships that they give to Interior Design students on a regular basis. All of these and the NKBA have student competitions that give money and scholarships to the winners.

Good luck to all that apply!

Do you have a cool competition, job opportunity, or design related news? Let us know! Email us and we’ll get it up on the blog!

Submissions for IIDA RED Awards Now Open!

2018 IIDA RED Logo Square

The Illinois Chapter of the International Interior Design Association is pleased to announce the call for submissions for the 6th Annual Recognizing Exemplary Design Awards. Help us to celebrate Interior Design in Illinois by submitting a project that has been completed in the past 2 years. Entrants can submit to one or more category, ranging from commercial to residential, students to hospitality and more. Winners will be announced at the RED Awards ceremony on Thursday, May 10, 2018 at Venue SIX10, as well as featured on the IIDA Illinois Chapter website and social media and in Contract Magazine. Winning projects will also have the opportunity to be toured by members of the IIDA Illinois Chapter in the following year, which is exposure that you can’t get anywhere else. Don’t miss this opportunity to have your Exemplary Design Recognized!

Best of all, student entries are FREE!

Have a cool competition, job opportunity, or other design related news? Let us know! Email us an we’ll get it up on the blog!

Job Opportunity: Lifestyle Design in Geneva

Lifestyle Design

Internship/Part Time Position

We are a growing residential design firm located in Geneva looking for a talented individual to assist in many aspects of our business growth. If you are an enthusiastic self-starter who enjoys learning and working with people please consider the following.

Design Intern Role & Responsibilities:

  • Support designers in all aspects of design work
  • CAD work to support projects, space planning and creating technical documents
  • 3D renderings of spaces
  • Manage client projects, documents, and files
  • Social media development and management
  • Assist in designing marketing materials for the business
  • Maintain design library

This position will be paid hourly with 10-15 hours a week dependent on work load.

Please email your resume for consideration to:

(note from Jane: one of our 2016 graduates, Kelly Donnelly Trotz, started here part-time and is now a full-time designer – and loves it; this is a wonderful firm to work for)