the design intern journals {the how & the why}…

hi all… happy monday!

so, as i head into week two of my interior design internship, i thought it might be useful to keep a weekly journal of sorts about my experiences to help anyone else who might be considering heading down the same path {it’ll also be great for me to look back on & hopefully see how far i’ve come by the end of this whole process}…

as the obvious starting point for any such venture is invariably the beginning, let me start with how it all came about:

i’d always been open to the idea of an internship from the time i started my interior design studies… i fully appreciated that i was entering an industry i effectively knew very little about & that the world of interior design was going to be a big & scary one for me to conquer {especially being an australian living in england with zilcho contacts}…

& whilst studying is a great place to start on the path to a new career, there’s nothing quite like dipping your toes into the pool of practical experience to accelerate that whole learning process ten-fold!

so starting from the absolute bottom rung didn’t faze me at all, in fact it felt like the natural, obvious & only logical place for me to start… besides, that whole ‘fake it until you make it’ philosophy has never sat well with me {& my poker face is pretty ordinary at the best of times}… i’d much rather approach any situation by being honest about my abilities & open to learning as that way you can only ever exceed expectations {yours, & theirs}…

i had initially planned to seek out some work experience during my studies, but it proved tricky to do mid-course… i was already working full-time in a pretty demanding field & the studies themselves were like a second full-time job on top of that {our study timetable recommended allocating 15 hours a week to cover course work: it seriously took me 30+ on average}

so i waited until i had graduated to start anew…

i got the heads-up about this particular internship via the careers counsellor at my course back in november last year… and so it was, i bounded along to the interview on a wing & a prayer, not having the faintest iota of what to expect…

to be honest, the interview felt like a car crash from beginning to end… not only had i sprinted there after a frenzied day at work {mistake no.1}, but i dressed for the corporate world, not the creative one {mistake no.2} & worst of all i was seriously under-prepared & unrehearsed {mistake no.3}… so it didn’t really surprise me when i didn’t receive any immediate feedback or follow-up in the days that followed… & as days turned into weeks i simply notched up my rejection as being a part of the ‘starting over’ ride, and thought little more of it beyond what lessons could be learned…

it wasn’t until late march this year {about 4 months after the initial interview} that i got an email from the same studio, completely out-of-the-blue, asking if i was still available & interested in the internship… & i can say in all honesty i mulled that decision over for all of about 3 seconds before saying ‘yes’…

my head said ‘yes’ & my heart said ‘yes’ & when your head & your heart are in agreement i reckon it’s a pretty good sign that you’re on to a winner, regardless of where it might lead & what you might learn along the way…

and so it is, here i am about to commence week two… week one is done & dusted: not only did i survive, but i thrived & i can’t begin to tell you how natural it all felt… as natural as drawing breath!

so i’m so excited to continue my journey & to bring you all along for the ride as well, wherever it leads… i share this in the hope that it might help you to take your own leap of faith, whatever that might be…

i’ll be back much later today with the first of my weekly journals, so be sure to check back!

in the meantime, stylist & designer emily henderson has recently published a post on her blog on the very subject of internships, but this time from the employer’s perspective… emily has drawn up a 15 point list of things to consider when undertaking an internship which you might be interested in, regardless of which field you work in… i warn you though, this post has sparked some controversy… so, check it out, join the debate & let me know your thoughts!

image via: fashionica

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4 thoughts on “the design intern journals {the how & the why}…

  1. BUT oh I’m sorry. that woman? ugh. She talks about entitlement and things she’s entitled to have people work for her unpaid and then give them shit because they don’t do things EXACTLY as she wants??? I would totally be up for an unpaid internship, but not for someone who treats her interns like that! Might be ok to treat a 21 year old like that but anyone over 30 would tell her where to get off. She says that she expects them to be there all the time and be indispensable but in the update says she’s flexible and allows them to have other jobs. What an ungrateful cow!

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