Tips for Your Interior Design Internship Search

Tue, Mar 20, 2012

Internship Information

When it comes to having a successful career, knowing exactly what you want to do with your life is actually about fifty percent of the leg work. The other part consists of getting the necessary credentials and experience needed to land the right kind of job. If you’re a college student, that would include landing a promising internship. If you’re a college student studying interior design, that would also include landing an internship at a place that will foster your creativity and nurture your designing skills.

In order to land an internship at a major designing firm or even with a contracted interior designer, you must remember to make a great first impression while being aggressively proactive in your search. Here are a few ideas on how you can do just that.

Field out your possibilities. Some people preferring working in an office environment, while others would prefer to work one-on-one with someone who works independently in interior design (if you go with the latter, make sure that you can get college credit for working with them beforehand). Once you’re clear on what route you’d like to take, start first by asking your school’s guidance office about connections that the college may already have with various companies. Then, begin contacting various local firms or putting “interior designers” along with your city and state in a couple of search engines. You can call to see if they have upcoming internships available or, a more effective route may be to email them to ask if you could email your resume to them for review. If you get a reply, you already know there is an interest. Keep in mind that there are also websites that can assist you with your search. SummerInternships.com is a website that markets themselves as a place where people can land a guaranteed internship in virtually any field, including interior design.

Think outside of the box with your presentation. A traditional black-and-white, one-page resume, may get the job done as far as providing people with the information that they need to know, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the kind that leaves a great or lasting impression. Remember, companies see dozens, if not hundreds, of resumes a year and so you have to do things that will make your resume visually stand out. When you’re approaching an interior design firm (or interior designer), that’s all the more work that you need to do to catch (and keep) their attention. Be creative with your resume design (for a little inspiration, Google “creative resume design” for a bit of inspiration). If you’re sending your resume electronically, it wouldn’t hurt to include a blog that features some of your own interior design concepts (you can set one up for free on Blogspot.com). After all, it’s one thing to say that you know a little something about tigerwood decking; it’s another thing to be able to put it on display in pictures or with a video virtual tour. Oh, and make sure that your cover letter is clear, concise and memorable. One thing about working in a creative field is that while you should always be professional, there is a bit more wiggle room to step outside of the box than say, a banking or medical internship.

Use social media for networking purposes. Social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn aren’t just for connecting with your friends. It’s also a great way to find out about companies that you might not have been able to connect with any other way. Take out a couple of hours a day to put “interior design firms” and “interior designers” in the search field to see what may be available. Once you have found a few that interest you, if you see that there are summer internships available, write an introductory letter that lets them know just why you would benefit from being at their company. Be as detailed and sincere as possible. Interior design is a highly-competitive field. Don’t be afraid to let them know that you’re willing to do the work that it takes to be the best kind of designer there is.

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