Major: Interior Design
Jordan Guide grew up surrounded by design in various forms.
“My mother was a visual merchandiser for a furniture and houseware store, my grandmother was an interior decorator and my grandfather owned an advertising agency in Chicago,” she said. “They all shared an enthusiasm for modern design, so I guess you can say it’s in my DNA.”
Guide graduated from high school one year early and, unsure of a specific major, wanted to get started on her general education coursework. Her sister had attended College of DuPage and then transferred successfully, so it was an easy decision for Guide, especially considering the affordable cost and convenient location.
After earning her Associate in Arts degree, she transferred to DePaul University to study marketing and advertising. However, she decided to return to College of DuPage for a more creative field and selected Interior Design.
“The COD Interior Design program offers in-depth curriculum of both the technical skills and business aspects of interior design,” she said. “It introduced me to active professionals, one of whom became my mentor. I met Barbara Pallat when she spoke to my Interior Design Business Practices class, and I interned with her during my time at COD.”
After earning her Associate in Applied Science degree, Guide was offered a full-time position as an interior design associate at Barbara Pallat Interiors. She then joined a commercial design firm in Chicago with a focus in hospitality projects. This combined experience satisfied the NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualifications) requirement, so she sat for the NCIDQ exam and received her certification.
Guide now runs her own firm, Jordan Guide Design, that services residential and commercial clients. She also created WALLTAT, a direct-to-consumer wall art company specializing in artistic, customizable wall decals, a business she sold in 2015.
She currently is working on a residential new construction build in the western suburbs, with a completion date this winter, and is maintaining client renovation projects in downtown Chicago. She eventually would like to develop fully sustainable, carbon neutral homes optimized for modern-day lifestyles.
As for her education, Guide’s goal was to obtain a quality education without the burden of college debt, and she did so at College of DuPage.
“You will learn real-world technical and business skills through COD’s Interior Design program,” she said. “You will be challenged, so focus on one project at a time and immerse yourself into every project with well-thought out and researched solutions. Your work here is your portfolio that will be presented to future employers.
“The Interior Design program is comprehensive and aligned with the expectations of real-world clients. Think of the teaching staff as your client. Ask questions, push boundaries and allow them to guide you to create your best work. If you want to earn the title of ‘Interior Designer,’ you must pass the NCIDQ exam, so pay attention to the building codes in your classes and review them often.”