“My journey to RISD Continuing Education began when I was offered to take on a luxury interior design project internationally. At the time, I was running an Airbnb and one of the things I was responsible for was the interior styling of the space, which is not the same as interior design. As excited as I was, I decided to pass. It was a sign that it was time to take this seriously and learn some new skills. It encouraged me to find a program that I could study remotely while living abroad in México. RISD CE’s online Residential Interior Design certificate program couldn’t have come at a better time.

Juggling work, coursework and a personal life is challenging, but I never let this get me down because the reward is learning alongside so many incredible peers and instructors. I knew it was worth the sacrifices I would have to make. Working remotely (and not having to commute to classes) made it easier to manage my other responsibilities.

I enjoyed the Drawing I Part B course with Eric Dusseault. I had never considered myself great at drawing–I would avoid it if I could. It was in his class that I learned that the skill of drawing is possible for everyone. It takes a great instructor, a bit of determination (and grace with yourself) and time to learn the skill.

RISD CE has been the beginning of a long-anticipated career transition. Starting over is not easy. After a few years of many changes (moving to another country, business ventures not working out, and a new career path), I was having a challenging time figuring out the next steps. Studying interior design has been something I have wanted to do since I was a young girl. If you can’t stop thinking about it, go for it. You will not regret it! Education is the best investment you can make in yourself.”

—Chelsey de León, RISD CE Residential Interior Design certificate student

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