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‘Not just academics, ACFA has helped me work on my leadership and communication skills’

A student of Interior Designing at Apeejay College of Fine Arts, Gurleen Kaur Kang is also an active part of the college’s Student Welfare Association

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Gurleen Kaur Kang with her parents

Gurleen Kaur Kang, a third-year student of Interior Designing at Apeejay College of Fine Arts (ACFA), Jalandhar, says she is glad to have chosen the “best college” in the city to study the subject. In an interview, Gurleen and her father Sukhwinder Singh Kang, the owner of Kang Builders, talk about how she developed an interest in interior design and how the curriculum at ACFA is preparing her for the future. Edited excerpts:

What made you opt for Apeejay College of Fine Arts?

Gurleen: ACFA was the best college that I could find for my course, in Jalandhar. There was no other college that was providing such an interesting course in Interior Designing. The teachers are all erudite, with years of experience. Besides, the college was closer to home, and I did not want to stay away from my parents. 

Have you always been interested in Interior Designing?

Gurleen: I was inspired by my father, who is an architect and is in the construction business. I wanted to pursue Interior Designing because I already knew a little about it by accompanying my father to his work sites. Besides, my mother is also passionate about home décor. So, my parents were a huge influence on me.

Sukhwinder: Being a builder myself, I wanted my daughter to pursue a career in a similar field. I was happy that she chose Interior Designing.

Since the first year, what kind of experiences have you had at college? How is the faculty?

Gurleen: I joined ACFA in July 2019. Our department is quite unique. The teachers are very nice. Most importantly, the curriculum focuses on practical knowledge. Our course is such that we cannot do everything from home, so we have been going to college in small groups to work on different projects. The teachers are always there to help and provide you with what you want, even if you call them after class.

Have there been any difficulties in online classes?

Gurleen: Not at all, even in the virtual mode, the professors conduct the classes from the college premises to be able to use the necessary teaching equipment. The online classes have been good so far.

Is the curriculum preparing you for the industry?

Sukhwinder: Definitely. I frequently discuss with my daughter all that she is learning. The curriculum is preparing her well for the industry.

Gurleen: I have been doing some internships, which have helped me gain some practical experience. My father helps me constantly. For every project I undertake, he helps me with the planning. I always take his advice since his industry experience helps me understand my subject better.

Sukhwinder: Colleges can only provide limited opportunities. I think internships are very important and will help Gurleen in the long run. Only when there is a workload will a student be able to learn.

What are your plans after graduation?

Gurleen: I am just learning the basics of Interior Designing now and hope to explore and gain more experience. I am planning to pursue a master’s degree to be able to learn more about Interior Designing before moving on to a job.

You are an active part of the Student Welfare Association (SWA). Apart from academics, is ACFA boosting all-round personality development as well?

Gurleen: I am the General Secretary of the SWA. In my position, I have been able to work on my leadership skills and how to work in a team. I have to interact with different kinds of people on a daily basis, which has helped improve my communication skills. Earlier, I would be hesitant. So, in a way, it has also helped boost my confidence. Besides, I am also learning how to juggle academics with my other responsibilities in college.

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Senior Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

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