Devils in Depth: Amanda Mae Dielman

Amanda Mae Dielman has overcome the incredible challenge of moving across the country and starting college in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to pursue her passion for interior design and make Arizona her new home.

A freshman on Tempe campus majoring in Interior Design at the Herberger School of Design and the Arts, Amanda chose ASU for the location and the top tier design program. She is originally from a small town in Montana and expressed that she often felt unhappy there because she did not blend in with the ideology of the people around her. Visiting Phoenix a few years ago, she fell in love with the warm weather, the way people interact, the language, the demographics, and the way they were all different from her hometown. “For me, this is beautiful. This is enchanting. This is where I have to be.”

Before ASU, Amanda worked as a receptionist in a tax and bookkeeping office in her hometown throughout high school. She also volunteered with a scholarship program for low income women planning to attend college in Montana. She describes these two jobs as formative as they exposed her to pieces of adulthood that she would not have otherwise experienced. “Those two experiences were really eye opening for me because I got to see a lot of what goes on behind the scenes of adult life.”

Amanda’s passion for design is obvious. She has always been oriented toward design and the arts, and she also has hands-on experience in the field. When her mom moved into a new house, Amanda unpacked all of the boxes and decorated the entire house by herself. She loved doing this so much that she says if she could take everything down and put it back up right away, she would.

In addition to further developing her design skills, she hopes to pick up some minors, potentially in Business and the French language, during her time here at ASU. As one of only nine seniors in her high school graduating class to successfully take four years of French, she hopes her studies will help her retain and further hone this language. In her ideal world, she would study abroad in France before she graduates to solidify her French language skills and gain a new perspective on design, art, and culture that she cannot get here in the U.S.

Amanda’s long term goal is to focus on residential design, creating homes and suburban areas for families and small contractors. “I want to stay away from corporate because in my opinion there’s not a lot of room for creativity there.” Right after graduation, she hopes to work for a firm for a while and eventually start her own business.

Amanda looks back on her first year at ASU with a positive outlook. It is undeniably difficult to start over in a new state for college, let alone during a pandemic that severely hinders opportunities for student engagement and social events. Yet, Amanda has still managed to find a place in the ASU community. “My freshman year is unlike anyone’s freshman year. But when I walk around campus and I do see students, there’s definitely a community. We’re here together, there’s no ‘my major’s better than your major,’ there’s none of that.”

In her free time, Amanda prioritizes spending time with her friends. She also loves to read and is currently rewatching all of the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She is a dedicated student, but she recognizes the importance of self care and making the time to build friendships. “I think right now a lot of us are really struggling to find friends and a sense of community because everything’s closed down. My advice to them is to try and find at least one person to be friends with, study with them often, hang out with them often, and don’t be afraid to go on 1:00 am drives listening to One Direction and Taylor Swift because it’s important. While, yes, our grades and education are important, always prioritize yourself first.”