As a commercial interior designer, Suffolk University alumna Jill Garzik is accustomed to explaining every choice she makes during the creative process.

“There must be a reason for everything you do, and you must be able to defend every decision,” she says.

Garzik, who earned a bachelor of fine arts degree at the New England School of Art & Design in 2006, remembers being put on the spot during presentations of her student interior design work.

Practitioners offer appraisal

“As students, we had studio critiques where our professors would bring in outside experts to judge our work in front of the entire class,” she says.

“We had to answer a lot of questions about how we put our projects together. It was a good learning experience that has helped me in the job I have today.”

Garzik, who recently was honored at a “10 Under 10” alumni reception, is an interior designer in the Boston office of Perkins Eastman, an international planning, design and consulting firm.

Garzik designs space for education, health care, science and technology, and senior living. Tasks might include space planning, room layouts, finish and furniture specifications, and code requirements.

“Interior design is problem solving, and my job is to help my clients figure out what works for them and what doesn't” she says. “We create a space together that allows them to improve the work that they do.”

The ultimate compliment

Garzik helped design the 250,000-square-foot Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Ambulatory Care Center at Boston Medical Center, an experience she treasures.

“One of the doctors there told me how they were seeing a radical improvement in their patients since moving their clinics into the new building,” she says.

“That was a defining moment for me. To know that I come to work every day and even have the possibility to affect someone’s experience like that is why I love what I do.”

Staying involved on campus

Garzik, who also worked on the design for Suffolk’s Café 73, remains busy in the University’s design community, participating in alumni panels and studio critiques as a member of the Interior Design Advisory Board at the New England School of Art & Design.

“Suffolk is a great place for opportunities if you're willing to put yourself out there and grab them,” she says.

Garzik shared her story with other young alumni who were recognized for their accomplishments at the second annual “10 Under 10” reception hosted by the Alumni Association in April. The 10 alumni honored earned their Suffolk University degrees within the past decade.