While pursuing an interior design degree, Wings student Laura Lavigne, ’17, struggled to balance work, life, and school. Her will to succeed, her determined mindset, and her ability to always strive for excellence kept her pushing toward the finish line.
“As an adult student, it was difficult balancing my life between working full time, taking full time classes, commuting an hour one way, and finding time for my fiancé, our two dogs, family, and friends,” said Laura. “While this was extremely challenging and trying, I pushed through. I built on my strengths and continued to aim for outstanding. I never settled and I never gave up.”
Even with a busy schedule, Meredith College provided Laura with opportunities to get hands-on experience and network with professionals in the industry. She completed an internship where she was able to learn about kitchen and bathroom design and the installation process. She also participated in the Annual Student Juried Artist Exhibition (ASJAE), and attended the Portfolio Review Student Design Days hosted by the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).
With a love for art, detail, and a desire for things to be accurate and precise while still being creative, Laura knew that interior design was the perfect field for her to pursue. It would give her the opportunity to build things and bring her designs to life.
“I see the designs I create as living art, where people are living and conducting their day-to-day activities in the spaces that I create,” said Laura. “I feel confident that my degree will help me move forward with my goals and life by obtaining a career that I love and am extremely passionate about.”
Laura has a passion for historic preservation and adaptive reuse. She would love the opportunity to work with some of the old warehouse buildings in downtown Raleigh and the historic homes in Five Points, Oakwood, and Wake Forest. Her desire is to one day pursue a career in the field of historic preservation if the opportunity becomes available.
The Ottawa, Canada, native was inducted into Kappa Nu Sigma, Kappa Omicron Nu, and Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Societies. She earned honorable mention in the ASJAE for her piece titled “Liberty in Captivity,” and won the 2016-17 Academic Excellence Award during CSA Day.
“My experiences at Meredith have made me a better person and a more confident person who now believes she can truly be successful,” said Laura. “I have come out of my shell and have learned how to make lasting connections and how to positively market myself.”
Upon graduation, Laura plans to apply for positions with architectural and design firms and local builders in hopes of working on overall space planning, modeling, being a part of the construction process, kitchen and bath design, and choosing furnishings, fabrics, and finishes.
“Being a member of WINGS, I learned that you are never too old to follow your dreams,” said Laura. “Not everyone has the same path, and just because mine isn’t traditional doesn’t mean that I will be any less valuable in the workforce.”
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