Week 1

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For my internship, I work at Auxiliary Services at the University of Kentucky. Mainly, I focus on Greek housing and residence halls. However, I often do random tasks that are needed by the university.

Through my observations, I have learned a lot of necessary design skills. For example, time management is a huge aspect of my job. We are currently renovating an older fraternity house. Throughout the summer, it has been imperative that we stay on track with ordering new furniture and materials so that the project stays on schedule. For instance, the new flooring must be installed before the new furniture arrives.

Also, different codes have been very important. Everything that I order must be up to the university’s fire code to ensure safety. Because of this, I have become more familiar with which materials are acceptable and which are not. I recently had to conduct some research to find a suitable sofa for a fraternity house.

My technical skills have continued to improve. This week, I helped design a logo for one of the University of Kentucky’s Women’s Forum. It will be used to promote their new marketing approach. During this process, I utilized Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

Lastly, the networking that Auxiliary Services has provided me with so far has been amazing. I constantly work with different material representatives. Recently, a representative that I met through work helped me land an interview at a design firm in Louisville. I hope to continue networking with different business professionals that aid in helping me market myself.

First Week at Perspectives

This week, I actually closed on a personal project that I had been working on for about two months this summer at Perspectives. The client, a woman with a historical home, was looking to put some custom windows treatments in her bedroom. The process began as a walk-in, in which I took the time to get to know the client, her home, and her personal design interests. We continued to flip through fabric books until we found the perfect frontal pattern, a navy and burgundy plaid with yellow gold accents. She then went away and allowed me to choose a contrasting backing fabric to show to her on the day of the measure. I then visited her home, and did a measure on her two windows needing treatments. The measure took into account many aspects, including inside or outside mounts, placement that didn’t allow for sun seepage on the sides, and box framing. These were technical skills that were once new to me, but I picked up on over the course of time. After kindly asking for a tour of the home, I was walked through the place, in which she admitted to wanting to do more work in the home. We are now working on choosing colors for her kitchen, which has a chair railing, so we need to look at a two-tone scheme. We currently have a yellow color chosen, but are going to see it in the space before continuing forward.

This client has taught me the importance of communication, and getting to understand a taste that differs significantly from my own. The timing of the project was lengthy in comparison to what I would have expected, but only because you have to get measurements, send them through a workroom, then continue to call fabric companies to figure out pricing. Then, wrapping up the process, by creating a quote that has to be approved of by my superiors. The actual project is also being put on hold until one of the fabrics can come in, which will be in September, due to it being on backorder. This particular project has given me an insight to the actual amount of time a project can actual take.

In the workplace, I have continued to meet many people from all over the Lexington area. The designers work continuously with locals, including the University of Kentucky and other surrounding schools and businesses. Just striking up a simple conversation with a client or a customer running through to retrieve paint has allowed me to meet people who I have connections with from Eastern Kentucky. These small communications can lead me to another potential internship at another firm, etc. Many of the people I see on a daily basis, I will see quite often. Perspectives customers are typically customers for life, showing the true importance of good communication with customers to ensure they have a good experience.

All of the above can be applied in my schoolwork and my desire to approach the professional world. Simply getting to know someone can lead them to trust you, and potentially introducing you to others who can help you better yourself. The actual in store experience is also crucial to bettering your interactions with clients, co-workers, bosses, etc.

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First Week at Perspectives

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So during the first week here at perspectives, is that the relationship between clients are can be walk ins or scheduled meetings. Majority of these clients are associated with their residence. So mostly, I will be working with residential design. If they are walk ins they simply will be coming with materials of their like the image above asking to find paint colors to make the design more aesthetically pleasing and flow well. Other clients however, may come in and be looking for fabrics. This process takes a while longer. We will show them our fabric room and get a better idea of what they are looking for in their home. We then start pulling books and if one is found we look up the price and give a quote to the client. If they are wanting to do more than just fabric and re-upholstery the process takes longer. This helps to impact my academic studies because the client is the focus and you are aiding to their needs for what they are looking for specifically. It has made me understand to be more open to what the clients want exactly and then help to find something for them. This experience helps me to understand color more than anything and see materials that customers/clients bring in. I am starting to understand what materials are more necessary in certain circumstances than others. The computer programming at this job has allowed me to gain knowledge to make easy access in the computer system that they use. I have done lots with putting in quotes and being able to save them for clients. Our system allows for us to look up old invoices that we can pull up from previous purchases if needed. This experience pushes myself to start understanding what customers are looking for to better my understanding of material. While working with customers, I have gained knowledge of terms in design that was unknown to me prior to this internship. In terms of networking, I get to sit in on meetings with vendors if  they are there. I normally will gain business cards and if it is fabric I am in contact with them mostly because I am in charge of the fabric area.

Final Blog Week at RossTarrant Architects

So far this experience has been so awesome, and I have had such a great time meeting with everyone, learning about reps and the whole inner-workings of how RossTarrant operates. After completing another week of organization I have finally managed to get the back area even cleaner than I originally had it- Unfortunately I forgot to take an after picture for my before shot. I can always take it later and update this blog I suppose. Which reminds me, I am happy to say that RossTarrant has asked me to stay with them for this semester to continue my work as their intern. Helping in any way I can to maintain the organization of their spaces and helping out on projects. I cant wait to be able to see some of the projects that I have been working on finally going to be finished.

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RossTarrant~

This week I got to work on a few different things for the interiors group. I finally managed to finish a floor layout for one of the members of the marketing team, she is hosting a banquet at the bell house and needed me to layout tables and chairs to see how many people she could fit in the spaces she was given. It was tricky- I had to go back over it at least 5 times, changing tables, orientations, locations, and with each new addition of information the scheme changed again. It was a lot of fun though being able to change it again and each time it be different, it was like a puzzle and each time you needed to solve it you had less pieces to use. In the end everything fit well and she was really glad I helped change the space so many times.

We continued work on the Elementary School and now that the floor pattern has been approved it is now my job to add a way of determining which tile is what color. This was not easy, because the pattern is like a broken chevron style. The best way we can think of is to create a paint by number floor plan. Where each tile is given a number and that number corresponds with a color. I can’t wait until that project begins construction, it will look amazing.

The newest thing that I got to work on was a flooring comparison chart. Which is exactly what it sounds like. For any project where a client might not be sure on what type of floor they want in a location a comparison chart is made where we find about 5 to 6 products and write out the pros, cons, price, maintenance, and sustainability of each product. Then the client can instantly compare each product and decide which one they would like to go with. I have never made anything like that before so that assignment was a great way to provide clients with easy to understand information about multiple products without overwhelming them. I might use something like that in upcoming projects.

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Ending the Week at CG

The last couple days of this week were well spent but not as exciting as the beginning of the week. As with any internship, there are always things that need to be done that are not as fun as the other stuff! CG Concepts is a furniture dealership, so the knowledge of thousands of different furniture manufacturers and products are extremely important to know and be able to reference or learn. Because the design projects and presentations all revolve around the furniture put into the commercial spaces, the resource room houses hundreds of product brochures filed away in file cabinets for storage. The product brochures are a very important part of the process when informing a client about the information on a product that we recommend for their space. This being said, we need to have many product brochures available and easily accessible for client meetings and presentations. Because there are so many different products that are available, the filing of these brochures gets pretty out of hand. I have the job of reorganizing it and getting rid of discontinued products. Although it does not sound like the greatest job, it has been very beneficial to me. I am able to get familiar with many different products used in commercial spaces that I would have never even knew existed before. We do not learn about specific manufacturers of furniture products or finishes, which is why I have benefitted so much from this internship. As you can see what it is like during a week at CG Concepts, there are many educational and fun parts to being an intern and also some that are not as fun, but in the end I have greatly benefited from the experience and wouldn’t trade it for anything!

CG Concepts Tuesday and Wednesday

A lot of exciting things have gone on the last couple days! I had the privilege of going on another client visit with one of the designers. We went to a company to look at the CEO’s office who wanted book shelves put into the office. I helped measure the side of the room and existing furniture and write down the client’s wants and needs. After drawing it all out on paper with dimensions, I had the job of putting the office floor plan with furniture into AutoCAD. It is exciting being able to use the skills we learned in school outside of school. After giving the designer the AutoCAD floor plan, she is able to find different options of bookshelves that could fit into the space and meet the client’s wants and needs, then be able to send it to the client to see. I also helped another designer put together a Closeout Binder. This is given to the client after the project installation is complete, which includes product warranties, brochures, cleaning and maintenance, and the physical fabrics and finishes that were used in the space.

There is also time for fun when we get to have lunch and learns at the office. We just had manufacturer Rep give us a presentation at lunch on new products we can use for projects and other resources through this manufacturer that will benefit the designers. The Reps bought us Cheezy Mac lunches, which is a new restaurant that allows you to create your own extravagant mac n cheese dishes. It was extremely good. The Reps also brought in samples of some of their new chairs that we were able to test out and actually keep at the office to use and take to client meetings for clients to physically test out instead of looking at the product on a piece of paper. I have learned that you are most successful when you bring in physical samples of products, fabrics, and finishes for clients to test out because they can actually interact with everything to see if it is exactly what they want. It is hard to know when you are looking at products on a piece of paper or computer screen. Another thing I got to take part in was participating in a mock presentation. One of the designers is presenting to a group of clients to try and win the bid for the project. Our whole office sat in the conference room acting as the clients, while she presented. We all gave her feedback after the presentation on how she could improve the speaking/presenting portion and how she could improve the content and physical part. Everything has been very beneficial to me.