iscd graduate story: Danya Sherif

Posted by rachel on July 25

Danya Sherif recently graduated the Diploma at iscd. We caught up with her to hear how she went from a career in sales, marketing and business development to studying interior design. We also talked about what her plans are now she’s graduated!

“Although I had a degree in fine arts, I never in fact used it. I somehow got pulled into the world of sales, marketing and business development in a variety of industries all over the world. I was fed up of the dryness of corporate life and wanted to revert back to my real passions and interests.”

Student work by Danya Sherif


What originally sparked your passion for interior design?

I have always had an attraction to all things art and design and even did my bachelors degree in fine arts. Whilst helping my mother renovate her new apartment in Cairo, I fell in love with the challenge and process of revamping her living space. 

So how did you go from your corporate career in sales, marketing and business development to studying interior design?

The feedback I got from the renovation from my family and friends was so wonderful and they encouraged me to perhaps look at a career change. Having that opportunity kick-started the courage to seek change. I decided to quit everything, and take on the challenge!

Student work by Danya Sherif


What made you choose iscd over other institutes in the industry?

The initial attraction to iscd was all in the name “INTERNATIONAL School of Colour and Design”. I was born and raised in Egypt, I’m half New Zealander and half Egyptian, I had a British education and have lived and worked all over the world from Canada, to Nigeria, to Qatar. I have traveled extensively too and have a passion for different cultures, having visited over 50 countries so far. For this reason I was attracted to the idea that I would be surrounded by a variety of nationalities all under the unifying umbrella of studying design – with an Australian flavour 🙂 The team at iscd were very helpful as I did all the research and planning from overseas. 

What would you say was your favourite thing about studying at iscd?

As promised by iscd’s name, I was surrounded by international teachers and students from Peru, Russia, Italy, China, and the list goes on. It was a wonderful experience to meet plenty of Australians too, as I was able to better understand the ins and outs of the design world from a local perspective. The flexibility to switch between full time and part time study also paved the way for me to gain industry work experience. In tandem with my studies, I also began working at Ascraft, one of the top textile showrooms in Sydney, which has given me a vast knowledge of soft furnishings.

Student work by Danya Sherif


What are you most excited about now you’ve graduated?

After a year and a half of study, I am excited to put my knowledge to practice. I was lucky to win two industry awards at iscd which was very rewarding. My objective would be to work with an Australian interior design firm and understand their work processes in the Sydney world of interiors. I watch and learn very quickly when I am inspired by someone at the top of their game, so finding that opportunity would be fantastic. I am currently looking for a job in this capacity, so fingers crossed!

How do you stay on top of interior trends and where do you get your inspiration from?

I am a big fan of instagram. Upon arriving in Australia, I made sure to follow as many local design related accounts as possible. This social media platform also allows me to continue to keep up with global design trends and suppliers from back home too. I like to infuse pieces from different cultures into my designs, so keeping alert as to what is happening overseas remains very important for me. I also buy local magazines, subscribe to several blogs, and have been attending trade fairs where possible.

What tips/advice would you give to anyone thinking about studying design?

Go for it! Immerse yourself in it, and you will be surprised by what you can achieve.


Are you feeling ready for a career change? Do you feel inspired by Danya’s story and want to know more about our flexible online interior design and decoration courses?


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