A dream come true

Hello, I’m Ilay. I’m 19 years old and I’ve been in Little Hearts since I was eight years old. I’ve just finished High School and I’ve decided to be an Interior Designer. I love drawing and decorating, and I’m fascinated by grand buildings with beautiful designs. The good news is I’ve just received an offer to study for a BA in Interior Design.

The reason I’ve chosen Interior Design is that I love creating new things and thinking about how to make rooms and buildings look beautiful from the inside. I’m very interested in architecture and artistic designs, like some of the grand hotels in Phenom Penh.

When you go inside beautiful places like these, the place leaves you feeling calm. I want to design comfortable living areas to help people improve their living conditions so they have warm and comfortable surroundings.

Growing up in Little Hearts is something I really appreciate. The teachers give us plenty of classes and lots of projects. During weekdays we have creative activities, and this is how I started painting. One project was building our own art gallery and it looks amazing.

Really, when I think about it, I feel like Little Hearts is my family – there’s such a positive atmosphere here. Our dad (Tony the director) is always here to support us with anything we need. I especially love weekend activities where we get together to do sports or go for bike rides in the countryside.

Work experience inspired me

In the summer of 2019, dad found me a job as a trainee hotel receptionist. This was a front-office job and there were lots of different duties, including communicating with customers, showing them around the hotel and learning how to book them in.

We had to be very polite and friendly of course, with all customers, to make them comfortable. Most of the guests were happy in the hotel, but if there were any complaints, we also had to find out what was wrong and help them solve the problem.

I know that this job really helped improve my confidence and I also learnt about different cultures by meeting international tourists. The hotel was full of artistic decoration, and this inspired me to study interior design even more.

I feel like my dream’s come true now, as the Royal University of Fine Arts has offered me a place, and I can’t wait to start my degree in Interior Design. After graduating, my goal is to create my own designs to help my country. Hopefully, people will recognise my work around the world.

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