Student Success - Rosalee Cline

By Sarah Van Arsdale on April 15th, 2005

NYIAD students are out there in droves decorating clients' homes, serving as consultants in department stores, and re-designing everything from metropolitan penthouses to lakeshore cottages. If you've started your own business, if you've been hired by a decorating firm, or if you've achieved success in some other way in the field of interior design, we want to hear from you! Click here to let us know about the waves you're making!

If you missed earlier installments of this series, here's your chance to read more about the accomplishments of NYIAD students. Just visit our NYIAD Student Success page.

For many NYIAD students, our program comes along at a crucial turning point in their lives – and provides them just what they need to change course and set sail for a successful career.

For Rosalee Cline, that turning point came when she was about to turn 50, with two daughters pursuing their own educations in college.

"I didn't feel that I could take the time or money to enroll in college, as my daughters' education came first, so I began looking into courses I could pursue at home," Rosalee says. "I checked into several courses, but what distressed me was that some other courses also offered certificates in T.V. repair or bookkeeping. I just felt that there had to be something better."

And she found that "something better" right here at NYIAD. "I looked into NYIAD School of Interior Design and knew it was the perfect course of study for me. After I received my information packet and saw all the materials, videotapes and personalized instruction, I was sold!"

Rosalee received her NYIAD Certificate in June, 2003, and started out as many NYIAD students do, by helping friends with their decorating projects. We always advise students to document such projects with before and after photos, so that you can later refer to them to help you land paying jobs. Rosalee also kept all her materials from NYIAD.

Soon, Rosalee felt she wanted something more stable, and she looked into J.C. Penney Custom Decorating, which offers in-home Decorating Consultants

"I sent in my resume and was called in for an interview. I gathered my final NYIAD projects and put together a portfolio that I was proud to show off," she says. "Armed with my skills and education from NYIAD, I had the confidence to sell myself at the interview."

NYIAD Student Postcard

The people at J.C. Penney must have been impressed, because Rosalee was soon entering their eight-week training program, which put the finishing touches on her NYIAD education, and then she began working in customers' homes.

"I have been so blessed," she says. "This is the best career for me," she says. "I have a sales manager who is supportive and encouraging. The other decorator in our studio has been with Penney 20 years and has a degree in Interior Design. She is a good friend to me and I value her knowledge and experience."

Now, Rosalee has plenty of business to keep up with. She's already been on over 250 appointments, and she keeps getting referrals from satisfied customers. And now she's even branching out from home decorating to working on the look of a 64-unit nursing home and the wing of local hospital.

And the design field is one which really keeps her hopping. "The challenge that I have at every appointment is thinking on my feet," she says. "I let the room speak to me and together with the customer, we come up with a design that fits in with the function, mood and harmony of the room. My NYIAD training is with me at every appointment."

"I love my career," Rosalee says. "I love that every day is different, and every job is a new challenge. I rely on my education received from NYIAD at every appointment, particularly in the areas of color, period furniture, fabrics and window treatments."

NYIAD Student Postcard

The advice Rosalee offers to current and future NYIAD students is probably not too different from what she tells her daughters in college, which is to take your studies seriously.

"The Course materials will be a great reference to you long after you receive your Certificate," she says. "Pay close attention to your final project. Make it as close to perfect as you can. You may find that you will use it to "sell yourself" in the future."

As for her future plans, Rosalee is happy to just continue learning about what makes a room work, and to keep helping others have homes and businesses they love. "My personal goal is to be even more creative in my job and not just make beautiful rooms but fabulous rooms!"

We're sure that Rosalee will continue to grow in this growing field. And we're proud and pleased to hear her say that she "would not have pursued my dream if I had not first pursued NYIAD."

For those looking into interior decorating schools, follow Rosalee's lead and get started with NYIAD!