Retrospect: My week at Perkins Eastman, New York City Office

To be honest, one part of me doesn’t want to believe that my time is up, and that I have to return to the world of being a full-time student. The experiences I was exposed to, participated in, and saw cannot be topped, and have helped contribute to my overall perspective on the profession of design as a whole (not just interior design and architecture). However, my time is up (hopefully to be continued), I do have a few thoughts and goals to share:

1) Networking is EVERYTHING. It doesn’t simply aide in obtaining internships, jobs, etc, but also in who you are able to have supervise your construction sites, electricians, contractors, finish representatives… the list goes on. The more people you know, the better. Then, you can ensure that the best and brightest help your designs see the light of day, and that you work in some pretty magnificent places.

2) Never turn down opportunities. I gained so much experience and learned because I constantly expressed how much I wanted to work and what I could contribute. By constantly stating this to your superiors, they will ensure that you never have an empty plate.

3) Don’t underestimate technical skills. You can have pretty renderings and sketches all you want, but if you cannot properly execute the design through construction documents, ADA code, etc, you will not succeed in the field. Period. This leads me to my next point/goal:

4) Show off your technical skills. In my current portfolio brief (two pages, one page per project, with a brief description and listing of the types of design), I only show AutoCAD, Sketchup, and Adobe Creative Suite drawings. However, upon sitting down with my mentor, Susan, she expressed that potential employers want to see your technical skills in addition to other types. So, with that in mind, my resume and portfolio will be drastically changed to ensure these skills are showcased to the best of my ability.

And finally, because no-one wants to read a four-page blog post:

5) Be present. No matter what city, firm, restaurant, tourist location, or who you’re with, there’s always something that can be seen, experienced, and used as a growth opportunity. Design is deeply rooted in the natural, built, and human world, so use them to your advantage- your future projects will show this and thank you as a result.

Well, that’s all. It’s been great, and I hope to return this summer, or to experience an equally-fantastic internship elsewhere (depending on what doors open for me)! I am so thankful for Lindsey making this possible, Susan for graciously hosting me, and the ladies in HR for setting up the week. Ladies, you are all rockstars!

Here’s to the future! May it be bright, wonderful, and beautiful (quirks and all!)

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