Hire Education - Caroline Conlon | St. Clair College
Wednesday, May 1, 2024
Caroline Conlon posing while leaning on a fence post
Caroline Conlon has turned her love of the arts into a career through the Interior Design program and plans to further her studies in partnership with Atlantic Technological University Sligo in Ireland.

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Hire Education is a series that showcases stories of student success through experiential learning.

Caroline Conlon

Restaurants, playgrounds, and even daydreams - Caroline Conlon can design just about anything.

After recently finishing her final semester of St. Clair College's Interior Design program, Conlon plans to pursue a Commercial Design career in the hospitality industry.

But with the practical training she received, such as creating plans to reconfigure a historic theatre and designing a playground, Conlon knows she can excel in any arena.

"The whole concept of the playground is that it was a daydream," said Conlon, 20, who enrolled in Interior Design with plans to turn her love of the arts into a career. "The playground was called Daydream Park. It was like being detached from reality. It was very whimsical. Kind of like every kid's fantasy."

Graduates of the three-year Interior Design program will leave St. Clair College with highly developed technical and creative skills for a diverse range of careers, such as designers for architects, lighting contractors, and furniture designers.

Like all St. Clair College programs, Interior Design offers students multiple opportunities to get out of the classroom for vital hands-on learning. Students develop and present plans to real clients.

"It was interesting to find a balance between using your style but also keeping to client requirements," said Conlon. "We present to them, meeting deadlines, preparing presentations, making sure you're ready."

One of those clients was the Capitol Theatre, home of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra.

Conlon designed plans to help the theatre deal with issues including a shortage of washrooms that leads to long lines during intermissions.

"They walked us through the space and we were able to see the real-world issues they were having and come up with solutions," she said.

Another highlight for her was presenting the design for an accessible "universal playground" to high-level industry executives during the College's annual Ford Innovation Showcase. The showcase, open to students in multiple programs, includes mentoring and networking sessions.

Second and third-year students also went to Toronto in early 2024 for the International Interior Design Show. They had an up-close look at the latest trends while networking with company representatives and celebrity designers.

Next year, through St. Clair College, Conlon will attend Atlantic Technological University Sligo in Ireland. The College has a partnership that allows students to extend their studies for a fourth year in Ireland to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Architecture and Design.

The College has a similar agreement with Wayne State University that gives students the opportunity to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Design.

"I had such a variety of things I was interested in but I couldn't pick one," said Conlon. "I just knew I wanted to do something creative. So, Interior Design let me explore that and also work with people. It was a really good fit. I really enjoyed the program."