Bailey Bryant will be graduating from Samford’s interior design program this May. When she first visited Samford during her junior year in high school, she knew it was the place for her but says that Samford exceeded her expectations. Over the course of four years, she not only developed irreplaceable relationships with faculty and friends but also connected with the Birmingham design community. Her internship with Douglas C. Davis & Associates, owned by ’03 Samford alumnus Doug Davis, has resulted in a full-time professional opportunity at the firm after graduation.
Both Davis and Bryant praised Samford faculty and the program’s connection with the overall design community. “Samford’s program is focused on real world solutions. The connection to the professional community is second to none. Each professor comes to Samford with professional experience and the program’s involvement with the local design community equips graduates in a very unique way. Samford’s graduates enter the workforce understanding how a firm works, how to work in a team dynamic and how to think about providing design solutions in a real world way,” said Davis.
“This interaction is the difference between Samford’s program and others. I think it’s one thing for an instructor to tell a student something, but when the lessons and messages of the program are reinforced by actual practicing designers and business owners, it makes them even more meaningful,” said Davis.
“Samford has made me the person I am today. It has provided me with so many opportunities that I would not have been able to take advantage of otherwise. Samford is a unique environment that provides the necessary elements for success,” said Bryant.
“There are many things that make Samford's program different. The ability to interact and form relationships with design professionals while at Samford is a huge advantage. Also, the professors are what make the program what it is. They want each and every student to succeed not only in their studies, but also in their professional careers,” said Bryant. She noted that all of her professors have supported her but highlighted that “Charles Ford has the gift to relate to students on not only a professional level, but also a personal level.”
Samford is fortunate to have an active alumni network that provides many opportunities for its students. Davis’s firm has had 4 Samford interns since it opened eight years ago. “Many of our students remain in Birmingham after graduation. These students become active in the professional design community through professional organizations and often ‘give back’ to Samford by returning as jurors, panelists, guest lecturers and host student visits to their firms and project sites,” said Jeannie Krumdieck, chair of the Department of Architecture & Interior Design.
Davis has been impressed by Samford students and gives them a lot of responsibilities. He wants them to be “fully immersed in our design process.” “Not only is Bailey immensely organized and self-starting, but she’s a joy to have in the office. She brings a positive spirit to our office environment and communicates so well with the rest of our staff and most importantly with our clients and vendors,” said Davis.
“Our hope is that our interns leave us with a thorough understanding of the design process from start to finish, that they learn good communication skills and that they take away some of our thoughts on what makes design classic, timeless and practical,” said Davis.
Samford’s interior design program is challenging but very rewarding. Bryant and Davis are passionate about the profession and enjoy creating environments for others. “I love the opportunity to personally connect with our clients. Our firm produces high end residential projects all over the country. Many of our projects last 2-3 years and we come to know our clients very well. The ability to create something highly customized that will last the test of time is very rewarding,” said Davis. Bryant wants to focus on residential design and looks forward to “making a space worthy of living in – to make a house a home.”
The School of the Arts welcomes others from our community to partner with us and engage with our students. For more information contact Julie Boyd at email@example.com.