Interior Decorating alumna gets program code tattoo

Among Mikaela Parker’s seven tattoos are the letters ‘INDC’ inked on the inside of her wrist.

The Georgian College alumna from Bradford West Gwillimbury said she got the tattoo of the program code for Georgian’s Interior Decorating program to mark her graduation – no small feat for the self-proclaimed introvert.

“A couple of years ago I had lost faith that I would find a satisfying career path and I am so happy with what I have accomplished at Georgian. I couldn’t be prouder of myself,” she says.

A person takes a selfie while holding up one of their arms, showing a tattoo reading INDC.
Mikaela got a tattoo of her Interior Decorating program code, INDC.

We spoke to Mikaela about what motivated her to get a Georgian tattoo, and what her experience was like in the Interior Decorating program and how it prepared her for her career.

Why did you decide to get a tattoo of your Georgian program code?

I like when tattoos mean something to you, so all my tattoos are either referencing my family, friends or something I’ve done in my life. For example, I have a “B” on the back of my arm for the first initial of my best friend of 20 years.

Specifically for this one, I’ve been through a lot in my life and Georgian was the third college I tried attending to find what I genuinely wanted to do as a career.

I hit a point when I realized I love design and that’s when I discovered Georgian’s Interior Decorating program. I was so amazed with how wonderful the program was and how supportive the professors were, it made me genuinely want to finish the program.

So, I got the tattoo after I finished the two-year program because it means something to me that I could accomplish that and finish it.

A closeup of a tattoo reading "INDC" on the inside of a person's wrist.
A group of people wearing blue convocation gowns smile at the camera.
Mikaela, front centre, graduated in summer 2023.

What was your experience like in the Interior Decorating program?

I’ve never been the type to be a people person or want to go to school, but meeting professors Mary Dobson and Paula Baillie and all the others made a really big impact on me.

Their enthusiasm made me want to get up in the morning and excited for school and completing something.

One of my favourite experiences was an off-campus trip we took to a marble showroom, where we got to walk around and talk to Georgian alumni who are starting their own business.

A panel of speakers sit at the front of a room, with a crowd of people in chairs in front of them.
One of Mikaela’s favourite experiences from her Interior Decorating program was meeting Georgian alumni at a marble showroom inside Elegant Solutions.

I want to get into home staging and real estate – I’m going for my real estate license in January – so it was great to meet people who are in a similar business.

It was amazing to see former Georgian students being so successful.

It also confirmed for me that there are a variety of postsecondary education opportunities where someone can achieve their career goals. This program is just two years long and I love it. It’s amazing that in just two years I could be starting my own business and being successful like those alumni, even though it’s a shorter program.

A small, decorated living room inside a box.
One of Mikaela’s projects from her Interior Decorating program.

How has Georgian prepared you for your career?

The courses I took helped me open myself up to be more of a people person and communicate better, which will help me in my career. For example, we did mock interviews and had a professionalism class.

I’m also half South American so I took Spanish and Italian, and I think those classes helped me not be shy about my own culture and trying to speak different languages with people.

There are a lot of people who speak different languages in Canada, so I think these skills will help me communicate well with future clients.

A person wearing a white shirt and white-and-black skirt stands outside on a wooden boardwalk next to dried corn stalks.
Mikaela says she “couldn’t be prouder” of herself for finishing her Georgian program.

What did you learn about yourself at Georgian?

Finishing the program wasn’t easy for me, especially being so introverted, but I learned I can complete anything difficult with the right support. Everyone at Georgian was so welcoming and helpful, and my classmates and I became a team.

A couple of years ago I had lost faith that I would find a satisfying career path and I am so happy with what I have accomplished at Georgian. I couldn’t be prouder of myself. 

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