As a Housing major and a Design Studies minor, I was intimidated by the job market. I knew that Interior Design majors would have more to offer than I would.
My job search started in November and I realized right away that I wanted to focus on design through my employment. I was unsure on how to go about this so I emailed Grace Bonney, founder of the interior design blog, Design*Sponge. She replied with great insight and encouragement to apply for anything and everything that was somehow related.
My course requirements included a 20 hour a week internship for the spring semester. I decided to put Grace’s words into action. I applied for an internship at Charles & Hudson. I explained in my cover letter that my major was Housing and my minor was Design Studies but I also expressed my hobbies and interests that were relevant to the content of Charles & Hudson. Timothy Dahl gave me the opportunity to intern for Charles & Hudson and it has been a great experience.
My job search started back up again in March. This time, I was applying for home publications, furniture design/sales, and design assistantships from postings on the internet. Before I would submit my application to each company, I would review the requirements and if they had a specific software or skill required, I would download free trials of the software and learn how to use it or I would practice the skill. Once I felt comfortable with the requirement, I would include it in my cover letter at beginner’s level.
I sent my resume and cover letter to any seemingly relevant company. This took a large amount of time but I refused to leave any stone unturned. I didn’t hear back from many of the places I applied to but I had interviews with the companies I was most suited for academically and interest-wise. During an interview with an interior designer, she raved about how I took initiative to learn the software before applying for the job. I was offered the opportunity to be her assistant and I gladly took it.
The Housing courses that gave me the knowledge to do well as a design assistant were about universal design, housing environments and housing types. The Design Studies courses that were relevant and gave me skills to be a design assistant were drawing, model making, human factors in interior design, and textile design. This academic background paired with my internship experience allowed me to confidently step into the position.
A college degree is very important, especially to get into the design field. Even if one’s degree isn’t directly correlated, building up skills and applying for every opportunity, one can possibly enter the field. Having an internship with Charles & Hudson definitely helps too.