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Alexandra Milkovich is one of our professional members for San Diego City Center. She relocated to San Diego from Dallas earlier this year, and is excited to be a part of the San Diego interior design community. We spoke with Alexandra to get to know her and find out about why being NCIDQ certified is important to her.

With a Masters in Interior Architecture & Product Design from Kansas State University, Alexandra Milkovich has 8 years of experience in the interior design and architectural industry.  She spent the early part of her career at RTKL Dallas, where she worked on hospitality, healthcare, and commercial projects, as well as exhibit design. She has since been employed by Wilson Associates Dallas and Harwood International, also in Dallas, where she gained additional experience the aforementioned fields as well as in high-end residential and multi-family housing.

After much consideration, Alexandra and her husband decided to move to San Diego. She is currently a part of the interior design department at HBG Design, where she is focused on hospitality design. Alexandra has done extensive research in restaurant design and the culinary arts through both her masters degree and professionally, and continues that passion through not only her job, but her personal food blog where she showcases unique culinary dishes and beautiful plating designs.

Here are her answers to a few of our questions regarding her experience in becoming an NCIDQ certified professional:

Q: How long have you been NCIDQ certified?

A: 5 years

Q: Name one thing that you learned while studying for the exam that you are able to apply to your everyday work.

A: Every firm does things slightly differently, therefore I learned a lot about the typical industry standards and how I can apply those standards at each place I worked.

Q: How do you feel that being certified has helped you professionally?

A: Being a licensed interior designer not only makes you more knowledgeable in the profession, but also puts you in a higher pay range and potentially a higher position at your company.

Q: Why would you recommend certification to fellow designers?

A: I believe that once you become a Registered Interior Designer, your boss and colleagues will have a newfound level of respect for you professionally.  It shows them that you can accomplish a challenge and come out with much more knowledge in the profession than you had prior, which in turn benefits them.

Q: Did you take all of the exams at once, or did you spread them out, and why did you choose to do it the way you did?

A: I took all of my exams at once: multiple choice tests on a Friday and practicum on a Saturday.  It was a very long weekend, but I was happy to get them over within one quick swoop.

Q: Do you have any study tips for those of us who are preparing to take the exam?

A: For the multiple choice tests, I recommend to read the book once, read it again and highlight important notes, read it again and make note cards of the highlighted notes and study those note cards.  I also recommend reading any additional recommended study books/notes that the book may not cover (i.e. AIA standards).  For the practicum, I recommend practicing the test at least 2 times and timing yourself.  Also make sure you understand the different sections and what you could potentially be tested on.  I took a study course with IIDA and it was really helpful.

Q: In your opinion, what is the number one reason that an interior designer should become NCIDQ Certified?

A: Becoming a certified interior designer shows commitment and dedication to the interior design industry.

Q: Any words of encouragement?

A: I had to tell myself many times to ‘just do it’.  I know taking this test is daunting, but you need to rip it off like a band-aid, suck it up and just take it.  Don’t be discouraged by failure.  Many people do not pass the first time and no firms or fellow designers will judge you for that.

Welcome to the San Diego City Center, Alexandra! We are happy to have you as a part of our community.

Katie Toth & Denise Colestock
Co-Chairs of Advocacy, San Diego City Center