Laura Christie ’14 is putting her architecture skills to use in a unique way. She was recently hired as a full-time design assistant with David Howell & Company, where she is working to design and manufacture museum gifts.
“I’m thrilled and so excited to start,” says Christie, an architecture major. “I’m learning how a company produces a product from the generation of an idea to the actual finished work.”
David Howell & Company, located in Bedford Hills, N.Y., specializes in the design and manufacturing of sophisticated museum quality gifts adapted from the artworks in collections from museums, historical sites, national parks and botanical gardens throughout the world.
As a design assistant, Christie says she is working in “all aspects of the company.” From design development to manufacturing, she works alongside Howell to learn how the design business works, how he creates designs, and even to work on some of her own pieces.
“I am assisting in both conceptual product development and design, as well as the actual manufacturing of items in a wide product line,” says Christie.
It was Christie’s experiences in the architecture department throughout her four years at HWS that impressed Howell the most, and ultimately led to her employment with the company.
“I originally interviewed with Mr. Howell just to get an idea of how the design business works and to get some insight from him on what career options I may want to pursue,” says Christie. “After sharing my portfolio and my experiences through the architecture department, I was offered the job.”
Christie says the architecture department helped her immensely by preparing her both for her job search and by developing the skill set needed to succeed in the architecture: “A class on creating a professional portfolio required me to use design skills and concepts that are very similar to what I will be doing in my new position, as well as helped me create a great portfolio that contributed immensely in my interview.”
The architecture department also assisted Christie with her previous internships, like her work last summer with the Geneva Neighborhood Resource Center. Christie says the internship introduced her to logo and graphic design and gave her firsthand experience as she created logos for different neighborhoods throughout Geneva.
Though Christie’s looking forward to working in her new position, she already has big plans for the future – and for her, David Howell & Company is the perfect place to start.
“I am hoping to go into either graphic or interior design,” Christie says. “This job with David Howell & Company will be a great introduction into the design business while helping me to increase my knowledge and skills for the profession.”