By: Lindsay Ferro and Yvonne Rush Being new to IDO this year, we decided our first blog topic ever should be about exactly that, being new. We have combined blogs this week to focus on the top things we have learned as recent graduates and young professionals in the industry. First, a little background information about us… We are both interior design graduates of Purdue University (Lindsay ’12, Yvonne ’13) who have recently moved to Indianapolis. Although being new to a big city can be intimidating, we are lucky to be a part of a small firm that welcomes us like family. After all the hard work & time put into class projects, resumes, portfolios, internships etc. we finally made it! And so here is everything we’ve learned so far, and our advice to all of the young professionals like us that are looking to break into the industry. Part I: Top Things I’ve Learned as a Young Designer
- Everyone LITERALLY does know everyone else in the industry. Never pass up on an opportunity to meet new people. Attend fundraisers, industry events, CEUs, etc. You never know what it will lead to, and people will remember you.
- All nighters still exist in the “real world,” although far less frequently. And typically they tend to be more like late nights (anything after 11pm becomes “late”), but unfortunately you don’t get to wear sweats and take a nap the next day.
- You will still order that freakishly fast sandwich.
- Reps are superheroes. They save the day with specs on that product you’ve been searching weeks for, and they spoil us with an overload of food and treats.
- You will mess up at some point, and feel the desire to ball up under your desk and cry. Don’t do that. Accept responsibility, act quickly to find a solution, and don’t ever make the same mistake twice.
- You will actually pull out trash paper at some point, create block plans, and work on user needs and adjacencies.
- You should always have a tape measure, note pad, pen, and business card in your bag. And a piece of chocolate for emergencies.
- It’s inevitable that you’ll get lost at a new project site, even with a set of floor plans.
- You’ll be tired for the first six months of working fulltime. You’ll become the “old” person who goes to bed early. Your days will fly by and seasons will pass before you know it.
- It is the greatest, most surreal feeling to see one of the projects you worked on built and completed. Oh, that wall covering you chose looks superb! If it doesn’t, then see #5.
- Take notes and remember names at all times. You will likely be working on many projects and admin tasks at one time, and you will not remember it all.
- Always listen and watch your superiors in action. Somehow they seem to remember it all, and their experience and knowledge can teach you a lot.
- If you are working in a city, traffic will be your worst nightmare. Always prepare extra time for your commute to work.
- Be flexible! More than likely you’ll be working on multiple projects at one time so it’s important that you are able to work in several work environments.
- Communication is extremely important! Get used to lots of emails, IMs, phone calls, and calendar requests.
Stay tuned for Part Two of our blog: The Top Things I Wish I Knew in School.