Interview with an Interior Design Intern

Interview with an Interior Design Intern

By: Catalina Mendoza Tell us a little bit about yourself: As a young adult focusing on what I want to do in life, I chose to attend Ball State University (Muncie, IN) and major in Interior Design. I am a young intern and only going to be a sophomore in the fall. I interned at IDO last summer, and I am interning at IDO again this summer. With only one year of schooling under my belt my internship has been filled with lots of learning! Can you describe what a typical day was like for you as an intern? o    A typical day would start out with my morning coffee. As most know, a cup or two, maybe even three, is necessary in order to maybe even get out the door in the morning. I’m young but I learned that it really does help when I would have to get up after long nights of studying and working on projects. o    Once at the office, I find myself returning emails I may have gotten after my day was over the night before, searching for emails from the reps coming in that day to update the library, or participating in other things happening in the office. o    I find myself in the library a lot, either filing and putting away samples or attempting to organize the many samples we have in our library. o    Throughout the day I answer the phones. Although I don’t love answering the phones, since I’m not the best with talking to people, I feel I have improved on my interpersonal skills by doing so. o    Often we go to project sites for field verification or move coordination, or to other places such as the architecture firms we partner with. I’ll head out with one of the designers to see other parts of projects and sides of the business that I may not be able to see firsthand in school or behind the desk at the office. o    Once or twice a week, I sit in with one of the designers for rep meetings. I get to catch the important things to ask about certain products, such as typical lead time, recommended installation methods, or how big the dye lots are. o    Ordering samples for projects is another task I do during the day. It helps me get to know who the reps are for different companies. This is also where questions become very helpful! o    On Wednesdays, I go to one of our larger clients to shadow our onsite team. I enjoy being there to see a very different side of not only the business at IDO, but the career of interior design. o    Of course I have other responsibilities and tasks to do each day depending on project needs. What did you learn at your internship? I learned that it would be helpful if I was more organized. I need to be more organized with emails but I’m still getting used to email being a main form of communication between reps and others. I learned that internships are sort of like a sneak peek into the life and jobs of the real world. Also, things like meetings with reps and being in the library gives me information that I can retain better than I would sitting in a lecture at school. Being in the library also really taught me a lot about all the companies, lines of furniture, lines of upholstery and flooring as well as doors, ceilings, lighting and so many more things that I probably will never know all the available products. Interning has opened my eyes to realize how everything in the industry seems to always be changing and that’s where questions become very important. Interning at IDO this summer has opened my eyes and kind of pushed me along my path a little further. It has helped me really find what I enjoy and have been looking for in a future career. Mainly watching how all the designers work has taught me the most. Watching them work has helped me to grow more towards becoming a designer like them.

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