This week at Brandstetter Carroll I continued to build valuable skills that I will use for the rest of my career. Once again, I had many projects going at once therefore I had to manage my time wisely to balance and finish the tasks that I was assigned for the week in a timely manner. I have learned the importance of constantly taking organized notes to keep all ongoing projects separate. Keeping the notes all organized by the project name and number has really helped me keep little details noted, changes made, or just changes that need to be recorded.
One particular assignment this week was to design a “feature brochure” that included information about different items that would be included in the pool project. This project allowed me to make contact with sales representatives and learn what to have prepared before I made the calls. I gathered the information about the product, along with size and price and then used photoshop to design the brochure. This brochure was provided to the client.
I have enhanced my skills of communicating and clearly understanding the desired final product before I begin the design process. Through repeating back exactly what they are looking for, I have saved valuable time in the design process. This skill, which seems obvious, can be easily misunderstood leading to miscommunication and the need for redesign.
My communication skills greatly improved this week through the time spent calling sales representatives gathering information. I quickly learned that when talking to the representative you have to provide very specific details of the product you want more information about. Additionally, I learned that researching the product before is a good idea because it gives you a little background knowledge when talking to them about their product.
This week has had a lot of learning of opportunities that I took advantage of in a good way. I feel I am growing as a designer and professionally and I am excited to see what is to come next week.
This week I mostly worked on organizing their Interior Design Standards folder on their computer system. Let me just say I have never fully appreciated the idea of creating File Folders and folders within folders until now. There are just so many files and floating documents that I did not know where to even begin. So naturally I made a list of everything in each of the files, dates, and what they were. I was surprised to find out that I actually made a really big dent in this. I only have a few more folders left to go through that I should have finished by Monday.
I also worked on the Rowan High School Project again, creating reference sheets for paint within the classrooms. After doing a few arrangements of wall choices we were able to have accent paint in all the classrooms that we could, while still keeping budget.
I also got the chance to hang up some certification awards in the conference room. Thank goodness that worked out because I am not really good at hanging things straight. So I was relieved when I stepped back and the pictures looked as perfect as possible.
This week has been pretty slow for Gail and I. I have been working a lot on organizing the office and checking for currency on all of the fabric books. I haven’t finished yet, but I have at least 40 books (as shown in the photo) that I donated to a local high schools interior design class. I wrote up a proposal for one of Gail’s clients this week. I usually get one of those per week. I also had to call and check the progress for all of the Transylvania purchase orders. One thing I have learned and that I can relate back to Joe’s class in particular, is paying attention to detail. I noticed on one of the purchase orders, someone who was here before me had 10,000 worth of furniture going to the wrong shipping address.
Discontinued fabric books.
I had to quickly call and change that location, before the items were shipped. Paying attention to detail is very important, because a lot of people rely on your CAD documents to get things done. If the documents are wrong, then it puts everyone on hold and they can’t do their jobs. This then costs more money, which is never good. Yesterday, the painters were to place stripes along the walls that were to be exactly lined up with the carpet stripes. The carpet was not laid, so the painters need the measurements to do their job. The document Gail gave them three months ago was so small, nobody could see it and it stopped production.
I had to recreate the entire floor in autocad (because whoever drew it up, did not save it) and get the correct measurements. I now understand what it is like to work under pressure. If I ever make a mistake, I now know what it feels like to have to try and fix it in the matter of an hour or two. Gail does not know how to use any drafting program, so I defiantly felt the pressure. So my lesson for this week, would most defiantly be PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL. Never let anything leave the office that is not done properly and always proof read everything several times over before submission. This lesson will help me greatly with my schooling, in addition to my experience and professionalism for the future.
This week at my internship at Brandstetter and Carroll, I have learned a great deal about time management, the design process and project organization. I am learning a very valuable skill of managing multiple projects and deadlines simultaneously through organization, prioritization and time management.
I am learning to utilize computerized files and folders to organize all ongoing projects and drawings in a more efficient and effective manner. This organization helps to more readily meet deadlines and to quickly locate and update changes to existing files.
Time management is a skill that is of utmost importance in a firm with multiple architects and designers meeting with clients on a regular basis. Managing to balance my time spent on specific projects has been critical to prevent cramming at the end of the week or even worse not producing my best work. I recognize that learning the skill of time management will be valuable not only in the rest of my academic studies but throughout my career.
This week during our lunch and learn, I gained additional knowledge about outdoor shading from a company representative of USA Shade & Fabric Structures. We were introduced to all the different types of structures available and how they can be individualized for different projects. Staying informed and up to date with the latest design products on the market is a crucial component in the design process. In addition, maintaining a file of all company contacts for the latest design products available is a valuable asset.
This week I have learned a lot about the design process and how to speed up applying edits in Photoshop. I have learned short cuts that really speed up the process. I have also learned that when applying changes from a document that has been redlined to always mark it off once it has been updated. This method ensures that the change has been made to the project. In my case I was working on concept designs that will be presented to clients next week.
Along with all of the other work, being detail oriented is very important because the little details can make or break the clients decision to choose our company or at least to move further with them in the design process.
Tuesday I was included in a meeting with the marketing director, one of the owners, and two architects. The objective of the meeting was to plan how to win a competitive bidding process over other competitor firms. The interview with the potential client is scheduled for next week. They assigned me to do the conceptual work that they would be presenting. I am thankful for their confidence in my skills to allow me to play a role in the preparation for the bidding process. It allowed me the opportunity to highlight my skills and value to the firm. I asked questions when needed, worked hard, paid close attention to details and made sure to communicate and ensure we were all on the same page throughout the rest of the week.
Overall, this was a very busy week full of learning experiences and skill building. I am excited to see what the weeks ahead have to bring.
I just realized that I never really gave any information about the firm I am interning for- I completely breezed over that.
RossTarrant Architects is a firm just outside downtown Lexington on Old Lafayette Road. They are best known for their educational design, working on projects from elementary schools to universities. In terms of universities this also extends to facilities related to the college itself, two examples right now are the UK Football Stadium Remodel and New UK Dining Facilities.
Now that you have some idea of the firm I can tell you about my week. This week the majority of the interiors department attended NeoCon Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. So I had to keep myself busy while they were away. With that I had the chance to get ahead on contacting reps about replacement samples for the hanging boards- (I just realized that I forgot to check my email for responses~ I knew I was forgetting something). I also finished creating a material schedule for a project on a high school. Using their excel template, they create these simple print-outs for the installers to make it more convenient than flipping through giant construction documents. Learning how to use the scanner for large construction documents was more difficult than the one at UK. This thing sucked in the papers so fast I was surprised when the images were still legible. At one point I thought that I broke the machine, I realized that I don’t handle situations like that very well because I proceeded to press random buttons in a mild panic, until one of the ladies at the front desk came back to help me. Yes- I said lady, I just got a handle on the people in the interiors section. Maybe I will make that my goal for next week- learn as many names as possible.
This picture is of my notebook on my desk, it was a really fun picture to take.
This week has been pretty slow at Regency Interiors. I have noticed that sometimes things in the “real world” move very slowly when everyone is on summer vacation. Purchase orders take 10 times longer to be processed, people can’t answer questions, etc. Gail and I are mainly working on finishing up Transylvania University. I had to compile a list of every purchase order and follow up for delivery. At this point in time, I am very grateful that the assistant before me was very organized. It is very difficult to go back through fifty or so purchase orders and get information from them. It is essential that they are organized and filed away properly.
Since it is slow this week, my main job is to go through all of Gail’s resources and materials. I am checking for currency and proper updated pricing. If the prices have changed, which they most often do. It is also my job to add a proper mark-up for each material. I have a lot of books to go through, I am currently working on fabrics. I have gotten to become quite familiar with Robert Allen, Maxwell, Unique, Delta fabrics, Duralee, Kravet, and many more. I have also become very comfortable with talking to reps and scheduling appointments to learn about new materials. R.M Coco is coming next week to tell us about their new products.
I am also building a good relationship with some of Gail’s clients and a lot of the people that we have to come into contact with when making purchases. I have learned how to use excel very well over the past month and I have brushed up on my mathematics as well. Unfortunately, when running a business you are required to use a lot of math.
Gail knows a lot of people in Lexington, and because of her client relationships I am beginning to learn and meet some of these people as well. I think interning here has really helped me with networking and relationship building. I am basically the voice for Gail, and when she needs something done. I am responsible for setting up the appointment and making sure whatever material she is using is current. I know how to use the phone very well. When we have to call companies, they laugh at me because I am immediately prepared with my account number and sometimes they don’t expect it.
Overall fun week! Below is A picture of the walls, and walls, and walls of materials that I have checked/have to check this week……Just one wall of them.
HR worked: 35
Since I began working at RossTarrant I knew I would have to adapt quickly to working in the real world. The first 4 weeks of working here I became familiar with all of the materials in their collection. Re-organizing their wallcovering binders, fabric bins, and their material drawers. So far this experience has really helped me better understand materials in a type of application that I am just slightly familiar with- Educational Design. Emailing reps for new samples and gathering information on newly released items was important to keeping our library up to date.
Time management has defiantly been a must when it comes to working in materials. As strange as that may sound its true, there are always multiple projects going on at the same time, and naturally every project requires materials. With that I am consistently checking up on the boards to make sure we have enough samples available for the projects as well as keeping up the levels for the next time the samples might be needed. The material world is also always in a state of updating which, unfortunately, in some cases means the retirement of others in a company’s line. Purging old and un-usable materials was also important because the last thing you want to happen is finding a beautiful material that fits perfectly with your project and then you find out that the company does not make it anymore.
I think that these past couple of weeks have really helped me in terms of communication because of all the new people I have met and begin working with in the firm. Remembering names has never been my strong suit so at first it was fairly nerve-racking asking questions. I have learned the names of the people that I work with daily so that makes it easier to do work.
I am very excited to be able to continue working here, and every week should bring new challenges and projects.