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Madalyn Yovanoff '03

What is your current job?

I am an Interior Designer at an architecture and design firm in Philadelphia.

Why did you choose this profession?

I have always been interested in art and design, but after graduating from Haverford, I realized that I was looking for more structure and meaning in my career than being a fine artist would ever provide. I thought a lot about my strengths, weaknesses and interests before making the decision to go back to school for a degree in Interior Design. For me, it has the right balance of art, problem solving, and a focus on social sciences which I find fascinating. I get a lot of satisfaction out of creating spaces that are pleasurable for other people to use, first and foremost because they are safe and functional, but also with a focus on aesthetics, tactile interest, lighting, and spatial balance.

What more do you wish to accomplish in your professional career?

Right now I'm very content to continue learning and growing as a designer, working with clients and colleagues, and getting a different experience out of every project. I would certainly like to advance to larger projects and more responsibilities, but I don't anticipate owning my own firm at any point--I'd much rather focus on design than run a business.

Tell us about a decision or change you made that turned out to be a positive career move.

The best thing I have done for my career was taking some time to really think critically about what I'm good at, and what activities and environments make me happy. I'm not one of those people who has known that they wanted to be a doctor, for instance, from the time they were five years old. It was something I really had to work at to figure out, but I think putting that focus into my decision making process is really what has allowed me to make the right choices, and ultimately wind up in a situation where I enjoy going to work every day.

How has Haverford influenced your professional career?

My experiences at Haverford prepared me for the professional world in so many ways, most of which are very difficult to define. I grew personally and academically, and became more aware of new places, cultures and perspectives. I became more confident in my own abilities and opinions, and had the opportunity to engage in respectful and thoughtful conversations with people who had different views than I did. All of these things prepared more for a career that is built on collaboration, constructive criticism, thinking outside the box, and listening closely to client needs. I was also able to build directly on my Fine Arts degree as I transitioned into the field of Interior Design.

The Strawbridge Observatory at Haverford College houses 12-inch and 16-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes which are actively used by students in Haverford astronomy classes.

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