The Do’s and Don’ts of Interior Design Internships

In the interior design industry, internships are common. In fact, In fact, my design firm receives many requests for them. But why is an interior designing internship necessary? How does an intern approach it? What to expect from it? What should an intern do and not do to have a successful internship?

Today, I share the do’s and don’ts of an interior design internship and provide alternatives you can try to help jumpstart your interior design career. If you are looking for an internship, about to begin one, or currently working as an intern and want to maximize your experience, this episode is a must-listen.

Why you’ve got to check out today’s episode
  • Learn how to succeed in your interior designing internship

  • Watch out for the things you shouldn’t do as an intern

  • Discover alternatives to interior designing internships

    Check out these episode highlights

    The Do’s of Internships

    1. Do an internship
    2. Treat it like a real job
    3. Have a willing attitude
    4. Be resourceful and proactive
    5. Ask for consistent feedback
    6. Advocate for specific experience
    7. Ask about trade shows and industry events
    8. Ask about job options

    The Don’ts of Internships

    1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
    2. Don’t expect to get paid if you are receiving college credit
    3. Don’t take time for granted
    4. Don’t assume you can do your homework on the job or use the company’s resources to complete your project
    5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about interior design as a career
    6. Don’t stress if you can’t get an internship

    1.02 – My internship experience and why I advocate for it

    1.36 – 3 reasons why it’s necessary to get an internship

    1. Nothing beats hands-on experience
    2. You can see designers in action and gain a better understanding of what a career in design entails
    3. You go to their studio and help out with day-to-day requirements

    2.14 – How to treat the internship like a real job

    • Show up on time according to your set schedule
    • If you’re doing it through your college program, reach the number of hours set for you
    • Dress professionally
    • Be ready to do the work that’s asked of you
    • See your supervisor or designer as your employer

    3.03 – Why you should always have a willing attitude

    • You will do typical intern tasks
    • You may be asked to haul furniture or unpack boxes if you’re asked to assist with an installation, just let them know beforehand if you have any physical limitations
    • Be willing to take on tasks that you may have not done before

    3.30 – Ways to be resourceful and proactive during your internship

    • Your supervisor won’t be able to hold your hand all the time, so try looking for possible answers to your questions before you take them to your supervisor
    • Present it to them to see if you’re on track

    4.05 – Why you should ask for consistent feedback

    • Most schools require internships supervisors to do evaluations at various points and give feedback on how that student is performing

    4.34 – Why you should advocate for specific experiences

    • Communicating specific experiences you want to gain will allow them to help you better by assigning you projects that will help you learn more about your desired career path

    5.12 – Why you should attend trade shows and industry events

    • To take advantage of getting admittance through the company
    • To learn how to deal with reps and vendors
    • To mingle with your employers, colleagues, and other design professionals in your area

    6.29 – Why asking for job options can land you a part-time gig in the company

    • The internship is a great way to get your foot in the door at a company so that they can test your skills
    • You get to learn how that company works before they actually put you on payroll

    7.07 – Why you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help

    • Your supervisor doesn’t know what you don’t know
    • You’re there to learn as much as you can

    7.23 – Why you can’t expect to get paid if you’re receiving college credit

    • Interns are not required to be paid if they’re getting college credit for it.

    7.40 – Why you shouldn’t take time for granted

    • Your employer’s time is valuable and they’re investing time and energy into you
    • They’re not putting it into an employee

    8.23 – Why you should ask first before doing your homework on the job or using company resources to complete your project

    • Time and resources are valuable for your employers.

    9.05 – Why you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions about interior design as a career and business practices

    • There is no better way to learn than to ask someone who’s living it

    9.48 – Why you shouldn’t stress if you can’t get an internship

    • It’s not a do-or-die requirement to be a designer
    • Many designers haven’t done internships
    • Not everyone can get one, and it’s okay

    10.01 – My Design Mentor, the alternative to internships for those who are searching but can’t get one

    10.53 – Why you shouldn’t be afraid to reach out to firms of different sizes

    • You can learn better if there’s a variety
    • You can help those who don’t have anyone to help them
    • You can try being a design assistant
    • You can help them learn how to manage people
    Want to jumpstart your interior design career? Enroll in My Design Mentor