We are privileged to have many interns work with our firm throughout the course of the year. They come to us from schools in the area and around the country. This summer, we have three interns gaining real-world experience in the design industry.
They are learning the ins and outs of working directly with clients and have the opportunity to provide feedback and ideas for selections, assist with drawings and meetings, and experience first-hand what a day in the life of a designer is really about. We thought it would be fun to have each of our interns share a little bit about their internship experience and what they are learning while they are with us.
1. What does a normal day of your internship look like? In the mornings, I usually work on putting samples back, identifying new ones to order, and organizing the design center. I spend time online searching for furniture pieces or lighting options for clients based on the direction given by the designers. I also spend time measuring particular items in-house that a client might be interested in to ensure they will fit in their home and the particular space where it's needed.
2. What have you enjoyed most about your internship experience thus far? Getting to experience what designer-to-client interaction is like. Seeing the way designers handle their projects and relationships and how they skillfully navigate through projects to create something beautiful.
3. What have you learned the most from this hands-on experience in the industry? I've learned a lot of the behind-the-scenes activities. For example, selecting something as seemingly simple as a fabric is much harder than it looks. It has to coordinate, be the right type of material, and then you have to worry about whether it's in stock, pricing, availability, how much it will cost to be made into bedding curtains, etc. It's nothing like what you learn in school!
4. What are your future aspirations for your design career? I would like to work for either a high-end residential design firm or go into lighting design. Eventually, I would love to write about various subjects of design and get published.
Abbie is a rising junior in the interior design program at Auburn University. She's the president-elect for Auburn's ASID chapter, a member of IIDA, involved in a sorority, and part of Auburn's Honors College. This summer she's been working with our designer Jena on her projects.
1. What does a normal day of your internship look like? Every day is completely different. If Jena, my design mentor, is meeting with clients, I usually sit in on their meetings. Some days, I spend the day selecting light fixtures, plumbing, or other types of finishes for projects. Sometimes I work on organizing and updating our collection of samples. I love that every day is different because it keeps things exciting and allows me to learn a lot about different aspects of design.
2. What have you enjoyed most about your internship experience thus far? I have loved getting to watch and help the design process unfold. It's really cool to not only see the work the designer puts into the project but also see the client's reaction. I have enjoyed being able to experience what a day-to-day work week may look like for me when I get out of school.
3. What have you learned the most from getting hands-on experience in the industry? I have learned there is a LOT more that goes into a project than I thought. I didn't realize how many minor details there are to keep in mind and how many people have to collaborate to get the project done. I've learned that the design process involves a lot of communication and relationship building as well as hard work!
4. What are your future aspirations for your design career? I hope that my design career will always feel less like a job and more like a passion. I love being able to use my creativity to help people create spaces that make them happy and healthy.
Brittney is a rising senior at Converse College majoring in interior design. She is involved with the Converse Activities Board and served as its Vice Chair last year. She is currently Senior Class Vice President and a third-year orientation leader. She has been working with our designer Julie on her projects this summer.
1. What does a normal day of your internship look like? Normally I come in and get settled and then check with Julie to see what needs she may have. I work on things like POs and estimates, CAD drawings and pull selections for clients like textiles, bedding, tile, lighting, wallcoverings, etc. I also talk to product reps about specifications and pricing.
2. What have you enjoyed most about your internship experience thus far? I've really enjoyed just being immersed in the work and seeing how each designer works differently.
3. What have you learned the most from getting hands-on experience in the industry? I've learned a lot about the behind-the-scenes work such as estimates, pricing and POs. I've also seen how product selection is pretty fast paced, in terms of having the client okay an item and then ordering the product.
4. What are your future aspirations for your design career? After I graduate, I would like to work for a residential firm because that area of design is what appeals to me the most.
Interested in interning with us? Contact us for internship openings.