Combining work and school is something that comes naturally to Grace Matteson ’18.
“I’ve always believed in working, even in high school, at the same time, half and half,” she said. “I’ve been working in an office environment since I was 15 or 16, growing up with entrepreneurial parents who had their own company.”
Moving into a full-time position at the Glen Mills, Pa., interior design company Studio 882 following an internship was easy.
“I’ve truly become invested in this company and able to have such an amazing experience with bosses who understand the qualities and the assets that I’m bringing to the company,” said Matteson, who is majoring in Interior Design with a minor in business.
A GREAT FIT
Matteson, from Bear, Delaware, transferred to Moore after getting an associate’s degree from the Delaware College of Art and Design. She received a Presidential Scholarship to attend Moore. She began working part time at Studio 882 in August 2016.
“I was recommended by my mentor, Marissa Schaffer, one of my professors at DCAD,” Matteson said. “She was like, ‘This company seems like a really great fit for you.’”
Matteson loved her job so much, she arranged to get credit for being an intern at Studio 882 as well. Then, company owners Katie and Chad Groves hired her to work for them full time in April.
“I was able to come in here and show what I was able to do, and just keep doing that and really going above and beyond what the expectations were,” she said. “I even had my own business card, which was really cool.”
A BIG DECISION
Matteson says she gets her creativity from her dad, Kenneth Matteson, a landscape designer and photographer, and her corporate world viewpoint from her mother, Karen Matteson, who helped run the landscape business.
Before deciding to major in interior design, Matteson considered becoming a lawyer – she was accepted to Widener University. A look back at what she loved to do helped her make up her mind.
“It was a struggle for me with picking a major – can I make a living doing this?” she said. “I used to sit in my room when I was young and draw my room out, and do different layouts of my room, and do my house on little pieces of paper.”
Matteson is proud that the Groves put the company in her hands when they went on vacation this summer.
“If anything came up, I was the direct contact for those seven days,” she said. “It was a really great opportunity, especially when I’m considering venturing out and opening my own firm.” Matteson worked one-on-one with clients, and oversaw the design of a home on Sanibel Island, Florida.
The internship as well as the work/school split taught her a lot.
“You’re learning things that you’re unable to learn in the classroom,” she said, such as client relations, understanding price points, and getting familiar with the vast number of manufacturers.
She appreciates Moore’s all-women environment.
“It’s great to have a really encouraging group of women to say, ‘You can be a successful woman artist or designer,’” she said. “It’s empowering to feel like you’re coming from a school that believes in their students and who wants them to be successful and will help them become successful.”
Matteson is already looking beyond her graduation from Moore – she is planning to earn a master’s degree in architecture.