Faculty of Animation, Arts & Design
Degree: Crafts & Design - Furniture
Year of graduation: 2004
Oksana Ulisko believes that following your passion is at the heart of job satisfaction. She turns to a quote from famed American furniture designer, Charles Eames to sum up her thoughts:
“It makes me feel guilty that anybody should have such a good time doing what they are supposed to do.”
And what is giving Oksana such a kick? Her role as the Interior Design Manager for IKEA in Winnipeg. She joined the company in August 2011, and in 2012 moved to Winnipeg to help launch the new store. The opening of the Winnipeg store marked the first time in 30 years that IKEA opened a store in a new Canadian market.
Prior to beginning her current role, Oksana’s professional credits include work at Umbra Design, Canadian House and Home and Magickwoods in Toronto, both as a designer and project manager.
Being on the ground floor of the new store was among the most expansive and challenging projects of her career. “On any big assignment you have to expect that the learning curve will be steep. But these projects also offer the biggest opportunities for growth,” Oksana said. “Being away from family, friends, living in a hotel for months, working out of a trailer on the building site and dealing with a winter that came too early really tested me personally,” she added.
Despite those grueling first months, Oksana hopes to do it all again someday, armed with the knowledge from her first experience. “Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is what makes life exciting and advances you personally and professionally,” she said. “I can't imagine a time when I will sit back and think that everything is perfect as it is. A piece of furniture, a design on paper, a skill, a building - they can all be taken that one step further,” Oksana added. This thinking is reflected in Oksana’s advice to new grads: “If you're good at something, learn about the next thing you can excel at. Once you're really good, become great. Show your work at every opportunity. You will have developed both creative talents and technical skills at Sheridan that others only dream of having.”
Learn more about Sheridan’s Bachelor of Craft & Design Program.