the intern diaries {week four}…

well, the end of this week marks one month since i started my internship {a quarter of the way through} & it has flown by…

some ups & downs this week, as i am swiftly learning is par for the course… & i am still finding it hard to gauge the expectations of an intern… especially a “mature age” one like me…

it’s a constant question of striking a balance between wanting to leverage on the veritable wealth of knowledge & experience you have to impart from the culmination of all the other chapters of your life & working within the parameters & expectations of an internship…

when do you speak up & when do you shut up… do they want to hear my suggestions or am i here purely to take instruction? do i share my shortcuts & time-saving tips {acquired over many, many years in other industries} or do i stick to the status quo and follow the corporate line, even if it’s a little longer?

mmmh, i’ll let you know if i ever figure it out!

day sixteen: taking it on the chin…

prior to this career move i’d been in the same industry for nearly 15 years… so, like most people changing industries, it can feel a little overwhelming at times not instinctively knowing what to do… i’m not used to having to wait on instruction and i’m constantly trying to be resourceful & self starting… but sometimes that leads me to falling flat on my face… in second guessing someone else’s requirements, sometimes you guess wrong… self doubt inevitably creeps in… i’m trying to learn to just take everything on the chin…

day seventeen: master of your own destiny…

today i’m trying a different tack altogether… in order to get the most out of this experience i’ve endeavoured to treat every single day as a new opportunity to shine… i refuse to let the self-doubt creep in as it can be exhausting…

i’m already pretty heavily loaded up on the work front, but i decide to offer my help to another team too… i figure as long as i don’t completely over-extend myself {and end up disappointing everybody} this will be the best way to get to know what the rest of the teams are up to… what’s that expression about being master of your own destiny?

there are so many different projects going on at any one time here, i know i’m literally just seeing the tip of the iceberg… i want to dig a little deeper, accelerate the learning process & most of all impress…

i’m so tremendously cognisant that these opportunities don’t come every day & i’m also hugely aware of how much i {and my partner} have sacrificed in order for me to be here… time, money, energy & opportunity cost: it’s all on the line…

day eighteen: you do the math…

a follow-up today on the commercial project i’m working on…

& today’s lesson is a quick one on budgeting: i’ve often pondered the secrets to divvying up the pennies on an interior design project… especially when you are sourcing “found” items and have no way of knowing in advance what the perfect piece is going to cost…

in my sourcing for this project i’ve had a schedule to work to, so the number crunching has already been done… the schedule lists various pieces of information, including where the item is to be used, the budget allocation, the amount of each item needed & the desired dimensions {if there are space confinements, eg the ceiling is 2000mm high, then that measurement is noted as MAX so i know there’s no room for negotiation, otherwise it’s a matter of getting as close as you can to what has been requested}

obviously when you’re commissioning new pieces it’s easier to stay within all of these guidelines, but sourcing “found” {antique or vintage} items is a little trickier: firstly, finding pieces that fit the ‘look’ or ‘feel’ you’re after is the first obstacle… does it speak the right language? will it sit well with existing pieces? is the finish correct & if not, can it be altered?; secondly, finding pieces that fulfil the ‘look’ & sit within the allocated dimensions creates an added layer of difficulty… there’s a lot of sieving through endless “perfect” pieces that just won’t fit, no matter what way you flip them; & finally, finding pieces with the ‘look’, which are the right size & fall within budget… well, that’s a whole other ball game!

a few of the pieces i’ve sourced are well over the allocated budget {some almost double}, so here’s where the negotiations come in to play… we’re able to trim a little off the cost of one item {thanks to some negotiating} & reallocate those funds accordingly… another item becomes redundant altogether, hence extra £s in the kitty… a further bit of juggling & we’ve managed to pretty much balance the books…

this is a real relief as it means all of my pieces can stay & it’s time to start putting them on reserve for a couple of weeks {to buy ourselves time whilst we await client approval}

day nineteen: reservations…

so, today is pretty much a continuation from yesterday… i spend the day negotiating reserving items… some sources are more open to this process than others {those more accustomed to working with interior design firms readily reserve items for us, whilst others are less willing to take stock off the shelf without a guaranteed sale} which brings up a whole new set of problems: what if the items we can’t reserve get sold before the client agrees purchase? answer: then we have to source something else from scratch & go through the whole procedure again… this could result in some serious tale chasing…

in addition, we’d been waiting on some final dimensions from site to determine if all of our pieces will actually fit… super frustrating as it turns out the “perfect” cupboard turns out to be not so perfect afterall… it’s approximately 7 centimetres too tall… back to the drawing board for that piece!

& so it continues… another day dedicated to trawling the internet…

in the meantime, the schedule of found items is sent to the client & we wait to hear back…

day twenty: victory at last…

some positive news today & it came in the form of an email from the client: “this looks fantastic”

three little words that made my heart soar… the client loved my pieces! hoorah…

now we can get to nailing down some purchases and requesting pro-forma invoices… we also firm up a delivery date {when somebody will be dedicated to be on site to take receipt of everything} and things are looking good… i’m elated…

the residential project steps up a gear also…

at a late morning meeting with the head designer we run through fabrics {well, myself & the other intern pretty much just watch the selection process… i’m reasonably confident nobody needs to hear our opinion on which wall covering works best or whether to combine a stripe with a floral… it’s that balancing act again of knowing when to speak up & when to just watch & learn}…

with a further client meeting looming, we’re working hard to meet our deadlines now… we finalise our furniture boards, taking into account all the last-minute changes from this morning’s meeting & we’re also set the task of creating some conceptual boards to show the client too… these involve more inspirational furniture pieces that evoke a mood or feeling we’re hoping to create, rather than choosing specific furnishings to represent those pieces drawn on plan…

after today’s flurry of activity my head is spinning & i’m singing the friday song… weekends seem to come just when you need them most, don’t they!

image by tim walker via: iconolo.gy

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

i'd love to hear your thoughts...