Christine Watts, a Marymount University graduate student in interior design, has earned a $4,500 scholarship from NEWH, a networking resource for the hospitality industry. The Fairfax resident attends Marymount part-time while working as design coordinator at Procon Consulting in Arlington.
The Network of Executive Women in Hospitality is a non-profit founded in 1984 in Los Angeles. The organization encourages women to lend support and share their experiences with younger women entering the field. Its Washington, D.C., Metropolitan chapter was established in 1992.
A Fairfax resident, Watts earned her undergraduate degree in interior design from Radford University in 2013 and enrolled at Marymount when she was in between jobs.
It was a great way to keep moving forward instead of staying stuck, she said.
Prior to her current job, she did an interior design internship at Washingtonian Interiors in 2015.
If you want an intimate program that is going to cater to you as a student, a designer and a person, youll get that at Marymount, she said. The faculty is extraordinarily interested in making sure their students succeed, know these types of scholarships exist, and will do everything in their power to help you succeed in the industry you want to work in.
To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be enrolled in an accredited college in Washington, D.C., Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania or Virginia and have completed half the requirements for a degree in their program. They must also have a minimum 3.0 grade point average and be pursuing a career objective in the hospitality industry, which includes design.
Watts said design should be fun as well as functional.
In everything I do I try and insert just a touch of humor, something that at the very least makes me smile whenever I work on the project and at best makes the client smile whenever they walk into the space, she said.
Beyond humor, the most important thing to remember about design is that its about people: people who have lives, friends, families, hobbies and problems, she added. A good design cant magically change someones life so that everythings perfect, but it can make it just a little bit easier.
To learn more about Marymount, go to marymount.edu.