100 percent ready for her interior design career

Molly O’Donnell ’21 quickly learned the tricks of the trade in the Interior Architecture + Design program.

Molly O’Donnell

While Molly K. O’Donnell ’21 was considering her career path, she was flummoxed because there were so many things she enjoyed. So, she chose a career that combined all of them.

Molly finds the accredited Interior Architecture + Design program at UMass Dartmouth allows her to do everything she loves – create art, write, be in the outdoors – and to solve problems while she does it. “I love being in well-designed boutiques, retail spaces, hotels, restaurants – and it occurred to me that creating those spaces was something I could love,” she said. “Retail design is so intentional. It is not just a pretty space.” 

The fact that the UMass Dartmouth program is accredited by the American Society for Interior Designers (ASID) is critically important to her future, she added. “To work for a design firm that creates commercial spaces, I must graduate from an accredited program,” Molly said. 

Even beyond the accreditation is the benefit she finds from the faculty in the program. “The faculty look out for me,” said Molly. “They are really good at finding ways to loop us into the community.” She helped create an outdoor space in nearby downtown New Bedford called Wings Court as part of a classroom assignment. “It was really cool,” she said. “It was a great introduction and a lot of fun!” 

“You learn about interior design from the very first day,” she added. “And so many other areas, from brand identity to the practices of the trades.” Molly, secretary for the UMassD student chapter of ASID, gets lots of professional development through the chapter. “We have speakers from commercial design firms, paint companies, and furniture companies. We gain awareness in our field and make professional connections,” she said. Because the program is accredited, future employers are very interested in UMassD grads, she added. 

She dreams about designing sustainable offices and creating retail automotive space, where buying a car can be an experience. “My dad once told me, find something that you love. Be true to yourself and be passionate. (UMassD) is the best place to start. I know I will go into my career 100 percent ready.” 



Departments College of Visual Performing Arts, College of Visual and Performing Arts

More #WhatsYourStoryUMassD

  • Crime & Justice Studies
  • Crime & Justice Studies
  • Interior Architecture + Design
  • Data Science
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Management
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Music
  • Fashion Design
  • Computer Science
  • Writing, rhetoric and communication
  • Marketing
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Animation & Game Arts
  • Graphic Design
  • Interior Architecture + Design
  • Nursing BS
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Marketing
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Biology
  • Biology
  • Management Information Systems
  • Crime & Justice Studies
  • Data Science
  • Physics