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Welcome back! Today, Tara Headley joins Trish in The Student Lounge. Tara is a Barbados-born and Atlanta-based designer who was the International Design Awards’ Student of the Year in 2015 and the 2016 Emerging Designer of the Year.

Tara received both her BA and MFA in interior design from Savannah College of Art and DesignHer senior thesis explored the value and nuance of integrating culture into interior design through a speculative Iraqi cultural center.

Headley completed three internships, including one with Hirsch Bedner Associates Atlanta office. She got her first taste of international design when a hotel project called for weaving local culture through the client’s specific, branded needs.

She shares her wealth of student and recent-graduate wisdom from her short but dense career.


    • Design contests are free money as long as they allow you to submit something you’ve already finished or that can be tweak slightly to meet criteria.
    • The best way to get a job is not necessarily the traditional way. Networking with people in the industry and making direct connections with companies can be the quickest way into a job.
  • Going to events that you might not be sure you belong at is a great networking plan, especially if you’re the only student who shows up!

If you want to review the steps Tara Headley took, visit her on LinkedIn where she includes her 54-page graduate portfolio.

The Student Lounge Updates

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Visit NEWH Scholarships to learn more about scholarship opportunities.

A big shout-out to Porcelanosa and Benjamin Moore for sponsoring The Student Lounge!

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