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Hayley Jensen arrived at the IDI Graduation Ceremony 2016 from Dubai to celebrate completing her BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design. Hayley was thrilled to be part of graduation to celebrate all of her hard work paying off. She talked us through the hurdles of being back in education and the satisfaction of overcoming them and accomplishing her degree.

After Graduating, Hayley went on to do her Master’s Degree.

Interview Transcript

My name is Haley Jensen, and I studied the BA (Hons) in Interior Architecture and Design.

Where have you come from to be here today?

From Dubai.

What brings you to the graduation ceremony today?

Just for the experience of the graduation, I worked hard for it, this felt like it needed to be done. It was part of the whole experience.

What made you chose to study online with IDI?

I needed to be focused and I needed a course that was going to give me targets and it was going to, and it had to be structured because I just felt that there’s so many courses out there that were, you were allowed to go at your own pace, and I just felt that that was dangerous because I felt you can become lazy, so I needed something that was going to be very structured, I was going to have my targets, and IDI had all of that.

What were the worst moments?

Just learning how to study again because I’ve not been at school for a long time, and things have obviously changed, and the studying aspect was the thing that I struggled with, just learning how to study again. Researching and all of those things because I never went to university when I left school, I left school at 16, started work and I’m 52 now so, you know, that was a lot of years ago, so that was the biggest hurdle for me, studying.

What were the best moments?

Just the satisfaction I think of actually accomplishing something, it was just, going through the whole process and then realising that, okay, this isn’t as difficult and a lot of it is common sense and it was just the accomplishment of actually starting and finishing.

What did you think of the student support?

The tutors; fantastic. Fantastic. The support was there, whether it be at the end of the phone or emails, but the tutor support was really, very, very good.

Do you have any advice for people thinking about studying online with IDI?

Do it. Do it. You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose and a lot to gain and you do your research, look at maybe other courses out there as well, but IDI, just, for me, it just offered and gave me everything I was looking for with an online course and I looked at a lot of courses and just kept coming back to the IDI.

So, what’s next?

Going to do my Master’s, so I’m looking forward to that.

Previous Interview

Hayley studied the BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design course from the University of Hertfordshire, delivered online by IDI. Already an accomplished designer with a Dubai based interior design company, Hayley decided that achieving a recognised qualification would help her feel more established in her career. She has been kind enough to share her thoughts on studying online, and to explain why she chose to study with IDI:

“I have been involved within the interior design industry for going on 29 years and I am completely self-taught, so I suppose you could say that my career has evolved through experience.

“I have no formal training other than I had a natural empathy for anything connected with interiors and making things look lovely. I started making curtains which led to small interior design projects. That led to my opening my own business, and that led to my heading design teams here in the UAE. We design and execute commercial, residential, and hospitality projects not just here in Dubai but in the complete Middle East and North Africa region.

“However, the design teams that I lead are all better qualified (on paper) than I am. This, together with encouragement from my family, made me look at options available to me to get a relevant qualification.

“I looked at many online courses available through other universities but kept coming back to IDI. I liked the ‘informal/formal personality’ that seemed to be present with IDI.

“I also wanted a course that had a structured timetable so I knew that there were set timelines, a start date and an end date. This was important for me. So many other courses allowed you to go at your own pace, which I felt was dangerous as it could instil a laziness to progress. This wasn’t what I was looking for.

“I am enjoying the course immensely but admit that I have struggled with the actual ‘school-like studying’. I left school at 16 after my GSCE so things have changed – a lot!

“However, the tutors and my fellow students have been supportive and a great go-to source for information. In Semester B, I relied on both tutor and peer support a lot and wasn’t disappointed.

“On a personal stance it will give me accreditation in something that I have been life-long involved with.

“If you’re considering studying online with IDI, I would advise that you accept that you will have to sacrifice a lot of your own personal time, and if you have a higher position within a company that isn’t the regular 9-5 job then it will impact on your daily work so you have to make allowances for this.

“Having said that, remind yourself why you are doing it and what you will achieve because of it.”