Week Seven.

This week was extremely busy at Brandstetter. Once again, I learned a great deal about the importance of managing time to reach deadlines. Over the past week, I had to print and bind 30 books for a presentation, as well as make boards for the presentation. In addition, I had finish up two construction documents.

The construction documents took up the greatest amount of my time. As a result, I had to manage how late I stayed and how early I arrived at the office. I knew what I had to get done therefore on one of the days I arrived at the office at 6:30am. I have learned that being productive is part of managing my time but I have also learned that managing my time is also working longer if that is what is necessary to complete the task at hand.

Working on construction documents in AutoCAD has not just increased my skills in the program but it has also taught me tricks, shortcuts, and correct ways of producing the drawings. I have furthered my communication skills and used my resources by learning short cuts from the other people working in the office with years of experience. I have also familiarized myself with what items go into a construction document and how they are set up.

In addition to all that I have referenced, I have also learned how to dry mount and spiral notebooks. These skills will help me be able to adjust when being in different firms and know a little about what the machines are capable of producing.

I have learned so much from this internship and it really has been a great experience. I am hoping to possibly start back after product runway takes place! However, overall I have furthered my computer skills, my professional habits, product knowledge, network and overall knowledge of my field. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store.IMG_0376

Week Six.

This week at Brandstertter Carroll I wore many hats. The receptionist was out for the week so for two half days I answered the phones and transferred them to the other offices or to whom they wished to speak. Throughout the week, I gained confidence in answering the phones, talking to clients, and gained an appreciation for the importance of good customer service. This experience helped me with my communication skills in both speaking and listening. In addition, it allowed me the opportunity to practice speaking in a professional, helpful, and confident tone.

Further more, I continued working on the construction documents for the room replacement. I furthered my understanding of roof structures and especially drainage systems and learned how to calculate the gutter and drainage system size for a building. I learned that when ordering drainage systems it is less expensive to order all the same size. Therefore for this project we are rounding up and using all the same size drains.

I also gained more experience meeting with sales representatives. I met with someone from J + J Flooring and learned about their different types of carpets that are available. I learned what kinds of questions to ask and what to look for in a carpet for different types of settings. This also expanded my network, which is always a perk. I enjoyed getting to meet, talk, and learn about their products.IMG_0351 IMG_0352

Week Five.

This week at Brandstetter Carroll I continued expanding my skills in using AutoCad, gained a much better appreciation for project organization, the importance of communication and gained experience in using a plotter.

I observed the value of project organization from the firm’s perspective this week. I have been able to easily search through years of projects and locate them because they were readily organized on the server. Previous projects are a valuable resource and tool for current projects so it is necessary to be able to readily access the years of previous projects.

This week has helped me develop a greater familiarity with how to use the plotter machine. I have had the opportunity to plot several different plans and now have a much better understanding and appreciation for the value and role of a plotter. This experience has helped me become more confident in using the machine, which will be valuable in class this fall as well as in my future career.

Also this week, I continued to learn a great deal in the use of AutoCad. I have learned how to better manage my layers, line weight, and scale. Most of all I have learned from other staff different commands I was unfamiliar with. Learning these commands has helped me to be more efficient and precise in some cases.

Working at Brandstetter Carroll has given me the opportunity to learn from people who have been successfully practicing design & architecture for years allowing me the opportunity to learn some of their tricks along the way.

Finally, communication is another skill this week that I continued to learn more about. There are many aspects involved in communication. Effective communication helps in saving valuable time in understanding the project goals. Also, communication is important and valuable in learning to listen to those who have more experience and are willing to share their knowledge. This week, I experienced the value in not only being a good listener but also asking good questions in order to learn from others.

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Week Four.

This week at Brandstetter Carroll I switched gears and began to work more in AutoCAD, had the opportunity to attend another lunch and learn, and a workshop. All of these experiences are playing an important role in expanding my knowledge and improving my skills for my future career and schooling path.

I have spent most of my time thus far working in Photoshop, however, this week I began working in AutoCAD. This was an adjustment for me as I have not worked in it for a couple of months. Time management once again played a role in making this switch. In order to maximize the use of my time, I researched online the commands for AutoCAD to refresh my memory and speed the process of being about to utilize the program efficiently.

Throughout the week, I have further improved my speed and skills in using AutoCAD. This will help me in my schooling and in my career. I always feel like the more programs I know and am familiar with the better to diversify my knowledge and skillset.

Through the workshop and the lunch and learn I learned about two major product lines. The first was a wall covering company and the second was a masonry company.

Koroseal Interior Products is a wall covering with very interesting products that I could see myself utilizing for projects in school and in my career. Not only did I gain exposure to their products, I was able to increase my network of contacts by meeting and talking with one of the managers of the company, Walt. I am learning to research the companies ahead of time so that I am able to ask good questions, learn more about the company and its products, as well as show the representative that I am interested.

Overall, this week was a different view of the type of work I was doing. I am enjoying getting exposure to so many different companies, software, and projects that I know will all broaden my horizon for the future.

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Week Three.

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.

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Week Two. #brandstettercarroll

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.

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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.

Brandstetter Carroll

This summer I am interning at Brandstetter Carroll, located in Lexington, Ky. The company specializes in architecture, engineering and planning for public, private, institutional and educational projects throughout the United States. I am especially excited for this internship opportunity because they currently do not have an interior designer on staff. I will have the opportunity to exhibit the value of specifically having an interior designer on staff.

As an interior design major I have been helping a lot with finish material schedules, working on concept designs for clients in Photoshop, as well as attending lunch and learns and other events held at the office. I started working on May 18th so I have had time to adjust and get to know the other people I am working with.

Through my observations I have learned managing time is very important, just as it is in studio. I have observed how managing time will decrease work related stress in the long run as well as set up the project for success. Managing time will allow the project to remain on time when unexpected issues arise.

Working directly with architects has opened my eyes to a different design process. So far I have observed that brainstorming is less conceptual and more job oriented. The process begins with through listening to the client’s needs and wants and then sketching spaces that will best fit the criteria from the information gathered. Client directed design varies from my previous experience in the classroom and is a valuable learning experience to capture from some very experienced and well respected architects.

I have also learned that the designers/ architects relationship and communication is important to be prompt, organized, and ready to take notes. These learning experiences I have faced this past week will impact my academic studies by giving me a better understanding of how the “real design world” handles projects and how they work with other team members.

I have gained more familiarity and knowledge with Excel and construction documents. I regularly use Excel to organize the finishes that will be used in the building. This document will be given to the constructors and used during the building process. The process requires sorting through the construction documents to find the finishes and correlating those to the correct manufacturer, color, name and number. This process made me more familiar with manufacturers and types of finishes, such as paints, carpets, doors, acoustical, and material finishes. Prior to this assignment I did not know about this side of the design process.

Additionally, during this assignment I have learned a lot more about construction documents and how to navigate my way around such a large document. I have also met with a few sale representatives familiarizing my self with different finishes that are available on the market. Furthermore, I have become much faster with Photoshop which will be of great help in the classroom in the fall but even more importantly in my professional practice.

I have improved my communication skills over this past week by improving how I ask questions and being very thorough and specific to ensure the information that is provided on the final documents is correct. This also confirms that I am on the same page as others whom I am working for. Also meeting with different sale representatives and all of the people in the company are just small steps in networking.

Along with everything I have learned this week something that I will carry with myself from this experience is that everyone’s unique design process and how creativity is unique and the importance of this is the factor that shows results. Creativity keeps people, including myself interested and unique.

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