— by Gabi Stevenson, Communications Manager

Every Moore student receives $1,000 toward a paid internship between their junior and senior years, in addition to a two-part professional development course and ongoing career support through the Locks Career Center. Could YOU be the next Internship All-Star?

Read on to meet Elisa Zanetti ‘23, a former transfer student who landed her current role after interning for a Moore alumna at her boutique interior design firm.

Left: Zanetti reviewing textiles. Right: Zanetti working with Alexii Friedman '07, Studio Friedman owner and Moore alumna.

Elisa Zanetti ’23 didn’t walk the typical path to success. After moving to the United States from Italy seven years ago, she started working as an au pair, which meant she spent a lot of time inside. As she pondered her next step, she began a series of low-budget renovation projects in the home she shared with her husband.

“When I was done, people came over and they were always so impressed. They told me how beautiful [the rooms] were and asked if I could help them do it. That’s when I had the realization that I could help people out and it could be my job,” she said.

After graduating with an associate’s degree from Community College of Philadelphia, she made the move to Moore, where she was introduced to the College’s intensive Interior Design program. Although she was a bit behind on coursework, Zanetti said she always felt that she had the guidance and resources to get where she needed to be.

“The first semester was me trying to catch up, but I was also provided with all the tools to do so from Moore and my professors. They gave me the background information on what had already been done so I could make sure my skills were built up,” she said. “I think that the team at Moore does a really great job integrating students from other schools. I never felt lost and I knew I was going to get to where my classmates were.”

Zanetti excelled in her classes and began the search for her junior year internship. She found Studio Friedman, a boutique interior design firm founded by Moore alumna Alexii Friedman ’07, on an internship list from Francine Martini, associate professor of Interior Design. Zanetti recognized the studio’s name: While studying at Moore and working part-time at a furniture manufacturer, she sold two chairs to the studio.

She soon interviewed with Friedman and landed the gig, starting her first week off by observing and completing basic tasks. When another member of the studio left, she was “thrown right in” with bigger responsibilities—the way she says she learns best. One of the most valuable skills she learned was time management.

“It’s very different than when you’re at school. During your senior year, you live in the studio 24/7. If you want to have a good work-life balance, you have to make sure you get your work done during your working hours,” she said. “Learning how to manage my time was something I struggled with at the beginning, but now I feel pretty confident delivering when I’m supposed to deliver.”

When it came time for Zanetti to return to Moore, Friedman asked her stay on and do part-time design work during the school year. Even though Zanetti always knew there was an opportunity to join Studio Friedman full-time after graduation, she was thrilled when she got the real offer.

“I was incredibly grateful. You hear stories of people who can’t find a job after college, so I did have that fear,” she said. “Something that Moore does so well is actually involving us in the community we’re going to be a part of, and that’s fantastic.”

Zanetti says her transition from intern to interior designer felt like a natural step due to her previous experiences at Studio Friedman. She already knew the team, their projects and how the business operated. Still, she remembers the hard work it took to get there, as well as the professors who helped her along the way.

“Having professors that are from the industry is the number one thing. They can tell you what really happens out there. They’ve been doing it for years and they’re doing it right now,” Zanetti said. “That adds incredible value because they not only teach you skills, but they bring experience from the field.”

Zanetti’s connection with her former professors had a lasting effect. She says that she would love to teach someday, drawing specifically from her appreciation for Martini, “the best teacher on the planet.”

Her advice for four-year students and transfer students alike is to be eager about learning. Because Zanetti formed such a close bond with her own classmates, she recommends students lean on their peers for help and support.

“I landed in a class that was so tight, and they welcomed me from day one. They really made me feel like I was part of the class, so I asked them a lot of questions,” she said. “Eventually, I learned enough to help them if they needed it, too. It’s a great exchange."

Interested in transferring to Moore? Schedule an appointment to talk to Transfer Admissions Counselor Sierra Conniff or contact Moore’s Admissions Office at or 215.965.4015.

Want to learn more about Moore’s internship program? Schedule an appointment with the Locks Career Center Director Shakeyia Kersey at or 215.965.4010.


Renderings courtesy of Elisa Zanetti '23.