CGE Student Spotlight: Estefania Touza
International Student from Venezuela
Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design, Class of 2021
Estefania Touza, international student from Venezuela pursuing her bachelor’s degree in interior design, secured three prestigious internships by leveraging opportunities available through FSU.
Touza took advantage of the resources FSU offers through the Career Center's Career Fairs and InternFSU program, an undergraduate resource providing paid internship opportunities on campus. Her advice for finding internships is to be curious and prepared.
“You always have something to offer, but you need to go look for your opportunities. It is not only sending your resume, but trying to get in contact with people. Make them remember you,” she said.
Touza acquired these experiences through the FSU Career Fair, where she networked with people from different architecture and interior design firms. She started attending career fairs as a sophomore, even though sophomores studying interior design aren’t expected to do internships yet. After connecting with the Principal of Interior Design from a firm in Dallas, she landed a summer internship with them without interviewing or even providing a portfolio. The firm offered her to come back again the following summer.
Through InternFSU, Touza acquired on-campus experience in 3D Design at her internship with the Innovation Hub. “I was able to expand my knowledge of 3D printing and laser cutting while I was there, which is incredibly helpful for my career. I was challenged to take projects like making a video tutorial, which I have never done before.” Aside from learning new things, Touza’s favorite part about working with the Innovation Hub was her team. “My coworkers were a joy to interact with, we had a lot of fun during work and outside of work. [...] I never felt like a minority while I was there. The entire staff is a mix of cultures, and you feel like one of the team from day one.”
In fall of 2020, Touza began her third internship. During an Interior Design Career Fair, she connected with an associate from Conn Architects who was impressed by her portfolio and offered her an interview for a summer 2020 internship. “They were very interested in [...] my time as a marketing intern at the Innovation Hub, [and] the interview went great. I was informed that I will know if I got the job in the following two weeks,” Touza said. “But the pandemic got worse and I did not receive any emails.” Touza’s internship opportunity for the summer had been canceled because of Covid-19, but Touza contacted them again to express her interest in an opportunity for the fall. Her drive, dedication and perseverance impressed her supervisors, and she was not only offered a fall internship but an interview for a full-time position after graduation as well.
Touza is a two-time recipient of the FSU Latin American-Caribbean (LAC) Scholarship and will graduate this semester with a 3.9 GPA. She pursued her studies at FSU’s Republic of Panama campus before transferring to FSU’s main campus. She came to FSU because the interior design program is ranked fifth by design firms. Touza considers interior design to be important because it shapes environments and influences people’s lives.
Her advice for incoming international students is, “Welcome change and challenges, do not be afraid. Think about it, there is no bigger change than leaving your home and moving to another country, and you already did that.”
If you’re an international student who is interested in being highlighted by the CGE on our website, social media platforms, and in publications, please share your experience as an international student at FSU with us through this questionnaire. Plan to upload a collegiate picture of yourself and spend about 20 minutes to complete the survey.