2 answers

Do I need to have some type of internship in order to get my foot in the door with interior design?

Updated Fort Worth, Texas

I want to be an interior designer, but I don’t know where to start. Should I start college looking for people who are wanting to go down the same path as me or who have already gone down that path? #interior-design #design #internships

2 answers

Kristan’s Answer

Updated Los Angeles, California

This is an excellent time to get some experience. I agree with one of the other professionals; look for mentorship from an interior designer or interior design firm. Another option would be to apply for a job at a store like Pottery Barn, West Elm, Calico Corners. All of these companies offer complementary design services to their customers and have entry-level positions. If after spending time in the industry you still love it and want to pursue it as a career then I would certainly look for a school with an interior design program. If you are undecided then you could always attend school and study business, art history, fine art, English, or one of the many other majors that would be useful for multiple career paths.

Kristan recommends the following next steps:

  • Look for a mentor.
  • Apply for a job with a furniture store that offers design services to their customers.
  • Access after 6 months to one year of being in the field , if applying to a CIDA interior design program is for you.
  • If you are unsure about pursuing interior design and would like to study related or even unrelated subjects then apply to a college or university that appeals to you.
  • Always be willing to try something, reflect, re-adjust when necessary.

Elaine’s Answer

Updated West Palm Beach, Florida

Hi Hanna,

It would be great if you can find some type of internship in the field. Internship/mentorship is a great way to understand the business and how the designer firm operated. If you haven't done any interior design work, most likely mentorship would be the ideal way, which you have a professional designer guide you through and not necessary to work. Most internship require you to have some kind of knowledge in drafting, sketching, and some computer skills. You should be at least in Junior college year or senior year in order to apply for internship. If you just going to college, you can always join the design club or something and start gaining some experiences.

Elaine recommends the following next steps:

  • Go to college for interior design program. Make sure it has CIDA accreditation
  • Apply for internship when you are in Junior or Senior year.
  • During your college year, join ASID student. They have a lot of great events and student competitions. As well as mentorship pairing