Employee Spotlight: Elise Robinson, Junior Associate

Meet Elise Robinson, Junior Associate. As a member of our Interior Design team, Elise is currently juggling a variety of projects, including several multi-family lobby and amenity space renovations. She enjoys the process of starting a new project, such as creating mood boards that encompass the vibe of a space and participating in visioning sessions to understand what the owners want the look and feel of the space to portray. Additionally, Elise is our materials librarian—coordinating with reps to keep our samples current, scheduling product presentations, lunch & learns, and CEU opportunities for our Interiors team. She works diligently to keep our library organized and has implemented new systems to keep it running efficiently! Elise finds site visits extremely beneficial and challenges herself to comprehend the “why” behind existing design and architecture choices.

Elise joined us in the summer of 2022 after graduating Magna Cum Laude from Drexel University with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. During college she had several internships, including a real estate company specializing in flipping properties where she filtered through Chicago area houses for sale and ran comps to see which were worth purchasing, an architecture firm where she was involved in several residential projects, and for a company where she created an office space that matched their reimagined vision.

An avid traveler, Elise has visited 17 countries and 4 of the 7 continents. One of her favorite trips was to Johannesburg, South Africa. The fully immersive hotel she stayed at did not fence out the wildlife or have lights along their pathways, which required her to be escorted by a security guard with a flashlight to ensure she didn’t encounter any lions when returning to her hotel room at night—resulting in an authentic and thrilling experience. Elise is eagerly anticipating a trip she is planning to Japan in the spring of 2024.

Who would Elise trade places with for a day? How does she like her eggs prepared? And who does she have great admiration for? Find out the answers to these and more in today’s Q&A below the images. We also invite you to get to know her further through her staff bio.

We took some time to get to know Elise, and here is what we learned:

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would you choose?
“I’d trade places with Beyonce and keep her skills when we switch back.” 

What is one thing that surprised you about working at FitzGerald?
“There are actually several things that surprised me, one, the diversity in age and ethnicity. Two, everyone is easy to talk to, if I have a question about anything, I can ask the person next to me without worrying that I am disturbing them. Three, all the team social events.” 

What is your favorite way to unwind after a busy day? 
“I like to go to the gym, take a hot shower and then sit in the sauna.” 

What was your first job? 
“My first unofficial job was as an assistant to the head of department at my high school. Whenever we were getting ready for a visual arts show, I would patch the walls and repaint them, then measure the walls and hang the artwork. My first official job was as an intern at Kavi Gupta Gallery. I often answered phones and organized the back room.” 

How do you like your eggs? 
“Fried eggs over hard with salt and pepper on two slices of buttered toast. Or over white rice with scallions and a bit of sesame oil and soy sauce.” 

What is the funniest thing you have ever heard a child say? 
“My mother often tells me a story about something I said when I was younger. She had forgotten to do something she had promised she would and when she realized she said “Oh my gosh! I completely dropped the ball!” I was around 4 at the time and didn’t understand metaphors well so I said to her, “It’s okay Mommy, if you drop the ball, I’ll just go get it.” 

If you came with a warning label, what would yours say? 
“Warning: will talk your ear off about K-dramas.” 

Who is someone you really admire? 
“I admire my mother and her continuous desire to learn. She has three master’s degrees in French, business, and education. She’s retired but works when she gets the desire to try something. She may work a year or two then decide she wants to do something else and does it.” 

What’s the biggest misconception people have about your position? 
“Sometimes people forget what I do and only remember that I work at an architecture and design firm, so they assume I’m an architect. Other times people think interior design is only choosing finishes and assume that all I do is pick paint colors.” 

What is one thing most people do not know about you? 
“I consider myself an avid traveler. I have been to over 17 countries, 4 of the 7 continents (not including Asia, Antarctica, and Australia), and I am planning to go to Japan in spring 2024! One of my favorite trips and was Johannesburg, South Africa in 2018. The hotel we stayed at didn’t fence out the wildlife. They also didn’t have lights along the paths, so each night walking back to our hotel room a security guard had to walk with us holding a flashlight to make sure there were no lions.”