Young Alumni Spotlight — Sarah Schaub, Interior Design ’13

Tell me about yourself. Describe your professional background. 

I graduated from Philadelphia University in the Spring of 2013 with a degree in Interior Design. Right after graduation I moved to Indianapolis and got a job at a corporate commercial interior design firm, Schott Design, where I have been for the past 2 and a half years. During my college career I had 2 summer internships at Balongue Design in Philadelphia, PA.

Why did you choose Philadelphia University for your college education?

I wanted to pursue my passion for interior design through an accredited  design program, which is what first interested me in Philadelphia University.

I am from a small town in Northern Michigan and so honestly, even the thought of going to college in Philadelphia was way outside my comfort zone! But when I visited the school (despite the rainy campus tour!), it just felt like I was meant to spend the next 4 years there.

Why and how did you choose your career path?

I grew up watching home improvement shows on HGTV and interior design was always my dream job. I actually started my college career at a liberal arts school in Indiana, but had never declared a major. Near the end of my freshmen year there, my mom asked me, “If you could do anything, what would you do?” I didn’t need to think long or hard about my answer and I told her, I would be an interior designer. “Then go do it!” is what she said to me. That’s when I discovered Philadelphia University.

For you, what was the most valuable part of your PhilaU education?  Did your PhilaU education influence your career path? 

Philadelphia University didn’t influence my career path; I knew exactly what I wanted to do which is why I sought out PhilaU’s Interior Design Program. It’s so difficult to pinpoint the most valuable part of my education at PhilaU. If I had to pick something, I would say the depth and thoroughness of the Interior Design Program. It’s a well-known and tough program for a reason,  but the depth of knowledge that I gained as a result was incredible! At the end of my 4 years there, I was confident that PhilaU had given me a strong educational foundation and I felt prepared for post-graduation in the industry.

Tell me about any special recognition that you have received and any organizations or networks that you are involved with. 

While I have not received any recognition since graduation, here are things I was involved in while at PhilaU:

Co-president of PhilaU IIDA Campus Center, 2012-2013

2012 Kling Stubbins Competition, 4th Place Winner

2011 Kling Stubbins Competition Winner, 2nd Place

2011 Kling Stubbins Competition, 2nd Place Winner


2nd Place Team, 2013 IIDA Student Design Competition at NeoCon 2013

2013 Faculty Award for Excellence in Interior Design

2013 Faculty Award for Excellence in Interior Design

Work featured in the 2014 Philadelphia Center for Architecture "Degrees of Design" Exhibition (Feb. 6 - March 14, 2014)

Work featured in the 2014 Philadelphia Center for Architecture “Degrees of Design” exhibition (Feb. 6 – March 14, 2014)

I was selected as First Place winner of the Pfaltzgraff Capstone Seminar Award spring semester of 2012.  Recently, I completed 2 portions of the NCIDQ exam and get my results this winter! Fingers Crossed!

Tell me about any challenges you’ve faced in your career and how you overcame them.

What I have found to be challenging in my career thus far is the coordination and communication required when working on a design job. It is different from college where I was the one making all the design decisions for my projects. In the real world, there are clients, contractors and building owners, to name a few, and it’s your job to listen and coordinate in order to complete a successful design.

Tell me about the most rewarding/interesting part of your career. 

One of the most rewarding parts of my career are the people I interact with everyday. I am blessed to work on a team that embraces collaboration and creativity while encouraging questions which allows me to continually learn and grow.

What are the guiding principles that you feel have helped you succeed in your career? 

Pay attention to the details. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be open to constructive criticism. Seek opportunities to learn and grow.

Tell me a little about your life outside of work.  How do you balance work and life? 

I really enjoy being active after work -whether that’s taking a class at the gym or going for a walk on a local trail. It’s a great opportunity to distance your mind from your work, while doing something healthy for yourself. I also enjoy discovering all the places Indianapolis has to offer! One of my favorite things to do on a nice afternoon is to ride my bike on the Monon trail to a local brewery or restaurant with friends!

If you could pass along a lesson to current PhilaU students and recent grads, what would it be?

Pursue your passion. I almost didn’t and am so fortunate that I was encouraged to do so. Be relentless and intentional in pursuing what makes you happy and savor the journey along the way.