Happening Now:

The staff at Shea-Noel Interiors has an amazing *TREET* for all of you!

Advice for the new grad in interior design...

Recession, Swine Flu, bad economy...congrats! You have just graduated into the real world.


Sorry to disappoint, but you may want to call your Interior Design professor and let them know you "will not be making 150K this year" as she predicted.


I am NOT joking.

Here's the deal. Most interior design programs require you to complete an internship prior to graduation. This can be a really good thing for you to do! If you haven't completed an internship - then you need to. Pay? Nope....It just is what it is.

If you are looking for an intern - You will need to be sure of a few things.

1. They need you.
2. There is a potential you could be hired after the intern is over.
3. You have a well-rounded portfolio to show to the firm.
4. You dress professionally *moving birkenstocks to top shelf in closet*
5. You show up on time.
6. You need to make an impression of "I really want this".
7. Leave your cell phone in the car.
8. Don't admit to your twitter or facebook addiction.
9. Appear well groomed...Put yourself in their shoes - would you hire yourself?
10. You have a copy of your resume handy.

I know I have been reluctant to have an intern on board...Until - She walked into my office. Now, I must admit I am in a special place that allows me to have a laid back office setting to keep up with high demand, but this isn't always the case.

I did ask her a few questions - You may want to listen up to this very important question.....Ready?

Question 1: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Answer: Well, I would like to be working with you. I know of your firm, it's reputation, and the work you produce and I couldn't think of a better place to be.

My reaction: *smiles*

What was good about it? Well, for starters, she didn't tell me she wanted to own my firm, or her own firm, and that - is the kicker for me. I have worked hard to get to where I am, and no thanks on trying to move in on my territory.

Then - after her portfolio, I get this comment: " I really appreciate you taking the time to meet with me. Everyone says such great things about you, and now I know why! This is a great place to be!" Then? she pulls out this....

I was somewhat stunned she had personalized water bottles....and a personalized pen...But....Does it matter??? I mean - not really....she's here today, second day as a Shea-Noel Interiors, Inc. Intern....

So, if you have just graduated from interior design and can't find an internship? All is not lost. ASID has just launched a new Real World Design Week for the upcoming fall. This is an excellent chance for you to connect with one or more professionals in your area. It is self registration, so go there and do that!

I hope this helps in the quest for you to create for the world....And sometimes a little work for free - will open up a door!

Will I hire her??? Time will tell....So far, so good...



Jeff Mello said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff Mello said...


What you just wrote about was spot on! GREAT JOB!!! For years I have mentioned to College kids the importance of internships. Internships allow students to gain real world experience which will help them to land a job down the road. I suggest students do internships by their Junior year so they have plenty of lead time before graduation.

The personalized water bottle was a Home Run! This new intern has already proven she knows how to set herself apart from the pack. She will gain great experience from you and maybe if lucky enough will become a long term asset to your company.

Good Luck!!!

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