Three Tests, Two Years, One Dream: Say hello to our newest certified interior designer

We’re proud to announce Steven Scott has just earned his NCIDQ certification! Steven joined Helix as an intern in 2016 and as a full-time employee a year later. He has since worked on projects including the Kansas City Art Institute, ChowNow and RFP360. Steven brings a passion for good design — and impeccable fashion — to the Helix office each day.

NCIDQ Certification is the highest level of certification in the interior design profession. The exam is taken in three sections, all of which candidates must pass to become certified. To commemorate the occasion, Steven answered a few questions with us to share his secret to success:

Q: When studying for your exams, what rituals did you have? Any pump-up music or favorite snacks?

A: Sitting down to study has always been hard for me, so I had to develop a weeknight routine. I would come home, give myself a 30 minute break after work, put my phone on “do not disturb,” pour a glass of wine and settle in for a few hours of studying before allowing myself to watch whatever terrible show I was watching on Netflix at the time.

Q: Did you find a particular favorite subject matter?

A: For me it wasn’t so much the subject matter, but the style of test. The last exam is all case studies, where I was really able to see everything I had learned come together, apply it, and see how this was going to affect what I do on a daily basis at work.

Q: Now that you’ve passed your exams, how do you plan on celebrating?

A: This is making me wonder if I should throw a party? But honestly, I’m just excited to have a mental break from studying and have my free time back after the workday, especially heading into the holiday season.

Q: What advice would you give any designers out there studying for their certification?

A: Give yourself a break when you need it. It’s hard to balance work and preparing for the exams, so if you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, take a day off. That will do more good for you in the long run then trying to force yourself to study.

Q: What does this professional achievement mean to you?

A: It makes me more confident in what I do every day. We want to design spaces that improve the lives of the users and I truly feel that these tests will help me create more impactful, functional and overall more thoughtful spaces.
Congratulations from your Helix family, Steven! We’re celebrating with you, and we can’t wait to see what you do next!