Marissa Borst learned the practical skills she needed to become a successful interior designer at Suffolk University, but she also gained something more intangible: the confidence to lead and an ability to “tell the future.”

As an interior architectural designer with Architecture + Design Associates in Virginia, Borst works on projects ranging from commercial buildings and corporate interiors to senior living, healthcare and hospitality spaces.

An eye to the future

Borst credits her success in the professional workplace and beyond to the lessons she learned at Suffolk and said that the University’s New England School of Art & Design gave her the skills to tell the future through renderings that show clients her design vision in a concrete way.

“Having the comfort that the client knows what to expect from the final design is very rewarding,” said Borst.

While at Suffolk, Borst, who received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2006, was captain of the dance team, an orientation leader and scholar and a peer mentor. That was how she discovered her leadership abilities and love of teaching.

Creativity and leadership

“It wasn’t just the Suffolk education that has helped me to be where I am today,” she said. “It was during the Suffolk experience as a whole that I nurtured my love to create, my inner desire to teach, and found my confidence to lead.”

Today, she teaches piano and dance, partly because she feels it’s important to teach her daughter, Eve Autumn, “to keep your passions alive.”

Borst also expresses her creative nature as owner/artist of All’s Well That Ends Well Designs, a company that creates personalized artwork for clients.

'Paying it forward'

She hopes one day to be a managing partner and principal of a full-service design firm and to teach design and art at the college level.

“That’s my dream job,” she said. “I want to pay it forward by being an inspiration to others.”

Borst shared her story with other young alumni who were recognized for their career accomplishments at a “10 Under 10” reception in April. All 10 of the alumni honored earned their Suffolk University degrees within the past decade.