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A Tutor Interview with Tracy Campbell – “What My Top Students do Right!”

The tutors here at QC Design School are all design professionals currently working within the industry. They have years of experience and specialized knowledge and they use this to guide our students through their courses. Who better, then, to ask for tips on student success and improvement? We spoke to QC tutor and professional interior designer and decorator Tracy Campbell about which habits she sees her top students practicing and what she recommends for students who wish to improve their work.

Think outside the box

What are some habits of successful students?

My most successful students:

    • Think outside-the-box. When presented with a problem, they come up with more than one solution.
    • Follow course instructions to a tee.
    • Submit detailed, typed notes.
    • Submit professional assignments.
  • What are some things that students can do to improve their feedback and become top students?

    Every student can be a top student if they apply themselves. I would encourage all students to:

    • Not only read, but also study and then apply what they’ve learned.
    • Don’t rush to complete the course. Instead, relax and enjoy the journey.
    • I repeat…follow course instructions to a tee. It’s the key to their success.
    • If students need clarification on any part of their unit, contact the school before they submit an assignment. We want students to succeed!
    • Submit one unit at a time. Each unit builds on the previous unit.
    • Submit typed notes.
    • Submit professional work.
  • What kind of attitudes do you find your most successful students have?

    The kind of attitude that makes for a successful student is one who:

    • Doesn’t make excuses as to why part of the unit may be missing.
    • Provides more content than what is required.
    • Submits detailed work.
    • Submits professional work.
  • Be professional

    Are there any specific bad habits that students who want to be successful should avoid?

    In order to succeed, students should follow these simple instructions:

    • Ensure submission folders are free of coffee and/or food stains.
    • Follow instructions to a tee. If asked to include the wall thickness of a room, then add the wall thickness. If asked to include a floor plan of a living room without furniture, don’t include a bedroom with furniture.
    • Double check to ensure their work is complete before submitting an assignment.
    • Submit typed notes with no spelling or grammatical errors. Never rely on spell check alone.
    • Use a ruler to draw all lines.
    • Use scissors to cut out magazine samples.
    • Use pinking shears to cut out fabric samples.
    • Place scotch tape under furniture templates and magazines samples.
    • Use a pencil and/or a black artist marker to draw floor plans.
    • Never use a ballpoint pen.
    • Center floor plans on the page.
    • Ensure templates are neatly affixed to floor plans.
    • When asked to paint, stay within the lines.
    • Don’t make excuses like “I can’t draw”. Instead, say, “I can draw”.
  • I CAN draw

    Getting Practical: Quick tips for drawing windows!

    Here’s an example of “how-to-draw” a square-shaped window with four glass panes:

    • Draw a square (with a ruler).
    • Draw another square around the first square that is a quarter-inch larger.
    • To create a mitered corner, draw a line from the outer left corner to the top of the inner left corner.
    • Draw three additional mitered corners.
    • Divide the inner square into four equal parts and draw a vertical line down the center.
    • Draw a horizontal line in the center of the window pane.
    • Violà—students can now draw a window!
  • A note from Tracy!

    Go the Extra Mile

    Go the extra mile. If you are asked to suggest storage solutions, take it one step further and search online for a visual, and then include the link. Most clients cannot visualize an idea unless they see an example. Here’s a wonderful closet organizing solution.

    So students, before you ‘erect the walls’ (submit each unit), read, study, and then submit only your best work. This will ensure you’re creating a solid foundation that will carry you into the exciting field of Interior Design and Decorating.

    Happy Studying,

    Tracy Campbell, IDDP, ISRP, AIOP, PCCTM

    Apply these habits!

    Following tips and tricks like the ones recommended by Tracy will help set you firmly on the path to success! Remember, there is always room for improvement and there is no shame in seeking help when you need it. Students who remain open to feedback and really apply the advice of their tutors are students who will really experience the rewards of their hard work!

    If you’d like to learn more about good study and work habits for new and learning design professionals, check out the courses here are QC Design School!