Olga Jarvis

Name:             Olga Jarvis
Age:                40
Course:           Full Time Diploma Interior Design, 2014

What were you doing before KLC and why did you decide to study at the school?

I worked in Moscow in one of the world’s largest accounting firms and subsequently joined an international exhibition company designing exhibition stands - I always had a passion for interior design. After Moscow I moved to Hong Kong and was impressed how Feng Shui is vital and a way of life. During my time there I became familiar with the basic principles of Feng Shui and refurbished my first apartment. It is then that I realised I must change my career and follow my heart and my passion – Interior Design!

When I moved to London, over 8 years ago, I already had some experience in refurbishing properties overseas but it was clear to me that it’s simply not enough to have a “good eye” for interiors and be passionate – it is a must to be trained and professional. Next I did my research and I quickly decided that KLC is the one and only school for me.

KLC has a team of professional teachers with years of experience in interior design and many successfully completed projects in their portfolios. I decided to apply for a Diploma in Interior Design – you literally learn everything from scratch: architectural programs to be able to plan and express your design, drawings, presentation skills, how to build your portfolio, you name it. We also had so many amazing guest lecturers from our industry, who would come and share their skills with us. Not all the lessons would be in KLC studios, quite often we would go to different museums and galleries, or to well-known design studios to see their day-to-day work.

Another, if not the most important, factor why I decided to study at KLC was the strong support of the KLC Careers Service. They are always there to help you. Once you became a KLC student you can rely on the KLC careers department and it does not matter if you are still a student or graduated 10 years ago. They advise you starting from how to create a successful CV and portfolio to helping you finding your dream job after you graduate. My biggest thank you to Geeta Dhar. She is always in contact with you and ready to help you either with a new job or projects.

Can you identify some of the highlights and challenges of your time at KLC?

I remember my first interview when I applied to become a KLC student with Simon Dodsworth when he warned me how challenging it is to be a KLC Interior Design Diploma student and how intense the study is. I have experience in working in some of the world’s biggest international companies where the pressure is extremely high so I was not afraid to have another challenge in life.

However, only when I became a student and started my first project did I understand what Simon meant! It is non-stop hard work and KLC is also extremely serious about your attendance. You cannot be late or miss a class without a valid reason. The whole course is extremely intense and you have a deadline for each project. There are also so many computer programs you have to learn at the same time. I can still picture how everyone is in their studios trying to finish their last bits and pieces before the deadline and our teacher Piers Prideaux would play dramatic music 5 minutes before the deadline! It was hectic but such fun, and such great excitement at the same time. All my class-mates were extremely helpful and I have made some life-long friends during my study in KLC.

How has your career evolved since graduating?

During the Easter break while I was still a student, the Careers Service connected me with OS Designs, a London-based high-end interior design company for work experience. They liked me and invited me to work for them straight after I graduated from KLC. I had an incredible experience working for them and had the chance to be involved in lots of wonderful bespoke projects. This year I opened my own interior design company - Boucle Design.

"The Careers Service connected me with OS Designs, a London-based high-end interior design company for work experience. They liked me and invited me to work for them straight after I graduated from KLC." Olga Jarvis

What kind of projects have you been working on recently?

I just completed one project off Trafalgar Square and now I am working on a couple of projects in Wimbledon, Chelsea and Clapham.

Examples of Olga's recent work