This past week, I actually presented to UK 101 design class on my experiences thus far as a design student, intern, and participant in the shadow-ship program through UKCoD. It was really rewarding to have the opportunity to share personal endeavors and experiences I have had since I began my journey at Mees and within the School of Interiors.
I explained to the class how I heard of the opportunity to work as a PAID design intern at Mees and how I tailored a design resume as well as went through two interviews to receive the internship. Moreover, I explained how my internship blossomed into what is so far a three year employment and have gained broad experience co-working with others in the design field as well as assisting licensed interior designers within the state of Kentucky who bring their clients into Mees to help pull together different materials for their projects. Something that I really harped on during my presentation was not being afraid to reach out to others and get outside your comfort zone to seek opportunities for yourself. As I had reached out to Mees on my own, I reaped the benefits of what was only to be a one semester paid internship that had turned into a permanent part-time job. Then I was able to later earn internship credit for my continual work at Mees. Moreover, I have learned an extensive amount about product beyond tile, such as different natural stone like granite and marble, as well as its applications and adjacent products, such as grout and transition strips. One of the cool things about working as a design consultant in a showroom is that I get to work with real clients as well as their designers. For example, we had one of the interior designers come in from Anderson & Rodgers, located out of Lexington, who brought a couple in who were building their new house. they were interested in two tiles from the Fiandre French Clay series: the 12×24 Sombre and the Flume. The couple originally matched both tiles with a coordinating 4×12 subway tile of the same colorways but then switched to two different mosaics from the manufacturer Onyx. The mosaics were 12×12 sheets of 1×1 squares of mixed material such as porcelain and glass with an iridescent touch. My showroom manager was working directly with the designer and the couple while Elizabeth and I assisted in collecting tile dimensions, pricing and providing our personal feedback. It is always a great learning experience to see how a real designer interacts with her clients as well as allied workers in the field. The designer was extremely obliging, bubbly and quick to help pull samples and provide appropriate design advice. She also was very understanding and empathetic with her clients, realizing that the design choices made were very important as they were permanent unless changed otherwise. Overall, I appreciated the process that was taking place and learned through observation how to communicate and collaborate on ideas with your client and allied designers for the best possible design solutions. Thinking back to my presentation I gave on Tuesday to my experiences at Mees this week, I really am thankful of the design experiences AND opportunities I have received through UK as well as at my internship at Mees.
Below, I have included a link to the tile series which the designer and clients were incorporating into their master bathroom and guest bathroom.