What They Don’t Teach you in School

What They Don’t Teach you in School

By: Catie Sterling

Since this is my first IDO blog I had some difficulty deciding what to write about. I started thinking about interior design trends, millennials in the workplace, and other expected topics. The thing that has been on my mind lately is how weird it is that I’m not going back to school this fall. I’ve been going back to school for 15+ consecutive years and this is the first fall that I’m not. It feels liberating knowing that going to class, having homework, and earning a degree is all behind me. I also think about the things that I learned and practiced in college that I have been able to apply in the work place such as drawing and dimensioning floor plans and elevations, using AutoCAD, general space planning, furniture selection, etc. Then there are things in the work place they don’t teach you in school such as…

  1. Writing concise emails

In school we were usually given minimum word counts or pages we had to reach and encouraged to dig deep into a certain topic. This seems to be the exact opposite approach in the work force. People want short sentences and to the point emails. Time is money now and if you can get your point across in a few sentences or less, that’s an A+.

  1. Field measuring

I can probably count on my hand how many times I used a tape measure in a school setting. Most projects were either hypothetical or not close enough to take a field trip to measure. I use a tape measure at least once a week now. I’ve learned it’s important to verify everything before starting or editing a drawing because if an existing drawing is incorrect, I will have to make a lot more adjustments down the road.

  1. Results matter

In school, there were many times that I believe I got a good grade on an assignment or project because effort was thrown into the equation. At work, the end user doesn’t really care how much effort you put into a project as long as you come up with the right results.

  1. Procrastinating is a really bad idea

I never had a huge problem with procrastination in school, but even if I procrastinate a little now, it’s always going to catch up to me. Projects keeping coming in and we predict we will enter at least 250 projects by the end of the year (sorry Gary). Procrastination isn’t really an option anymore.

  1. Different Lingo

In school and especially college I got accustomed to being around other people my age. I forgot that when you get out of college people start to use normal phrases again. At work, terms like “office hours” and “senioritis” aren’t used in the same way they were used in college.

I could make a huge list of things I’ve learned in just 3 months working for IDO that I probably wouldn’t learn if I spent 4 more years at Purdue. It has been a challenging and exciting experience so far and I know I’m only scratching the surface!

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