Est. 1960


Industry Spotlight: Hannah Lunn of ONE17

Photograph of Hannah Lunn enjoying the outdoors

Grace Lenihan interviews One17's very own Hannah Lunn

for the University of Huddersfields Industry Spotlight feature


Interior Designer / Architectural Assistant


What was your first job?

‘Copy Centre Specialist’ at Staples. A pretty fancy title for a photocopier attendant, I must admit.


What did you want to be when you grew up?

In order of age; Farmer, Police Woman, Hockey Player, Anything that paid well, Criminal Psychologist, Designer. My careers advisor didn’t know what to do with me!


How did you get in to the role that you’re in now?

Following graduating in BA (Hons) Interior Architecture, I was having no luck finding a job due to my lack of industry experience. I approached One17 Design and persuaded them to give me a 6-week trial. 15 months later, I’m still here.


What does your average day look like?

No two days are the same. Some days are spent at the computer doing CAD work, others are spent on site in a high vis jacket, hard hat and steel toe capped boots, it’s extremely varied.


What do you enjoy most about your role?

Working in a team of such talented designers means I go home every night inspired.


What is your least favourite aspect of the job?

Creative block. There is nothing more frustrating.


What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Seeing my first project coming to life on site was a pretty surreal experience!


What has been your biggest challenge in your career so far?

Getting a job. It’s not easy. I applied for every job going in my area, and heard back from only a handful (telling me I’d been unsuccessful). I soon realised you’ve got to go out and get it for yourself. I started to approach practices that I liked the look of, instead of applying for positions on job websites which I knew damn well would have hundreds if not thousands of other applicants. Try and be creative in your approach, it immediately sets you aside from the crowd.


What do you believe are the key skills to have in your industry?

Creativity, imagination and artistic flair are obviously key. One skill that you have to have is resilience. Being a designer straight out of university, I’ll admit, you think you know everything. You don’t. Experience is what makes any designer great. Being told you’re wrong, or that there’s ‘a lot more work to do’ on a design you thought was resolved is not easy at first. Listen to the experts, learn from it, and don’t take it personally – everyone’s been there.


What would be your ideal day away from the office?

Ironic as it is for an Interior Designer, my favourite place in the world is the great outdoors. A long walk in the countryside, followed by some pub grub and a pint would be my ideal day.


What would stand out for you on a CV for a student applying to a job specific to your industry?

Making a positive first impression is important in any industry, but especially in creative lines of work, your CV is the first piece of your ‘work’ your employer will see. It’s not a myth that your CV will be judged within seconds. Try and be different, and keep it simple. A wordy, black and white piece of A4 in Times New Roman, more than likely will not do the trick. My boss has admitted that my hand sketches got me the job; he didn’t get as far as reading what grades I got!


What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Give yourself deadlines, and make time for ‘me time’. Going through A-Levels, and especially university, I would feel guilty if I was doing anything other than work. I have since realised how valuable having down time is. Sleep deprivation does nothing for those creative juices!


See the original interview on the University of Huddersfield's Uni Careers Employability Blog