5 Steps to Becoming an Interior Designer
Step Three: Finding Internships and Designing Your Portfolio
Although you might be eager to get your hands on more stimulating interior design work, an internship is a necessary part of your career. Not only does it allow for a smooth transition from school to work environments, qualifying for NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) certification actually requires supervised experience in the trade.
So, how do you get an internship? Great question! Building your portfolio is a great way to start, as prospective employers will want to see what you can do.
Your portfolio is an essential part of your interior design career. Take time while in school to complete each project as though you would be presenting your work to a potential employer. Treat projects and assignments like opportunities to demonstrate your creativity and interior design skills through the work you’ve completed.
Your portfolio should also display a strong sense of the aesthetic — an eye for color and detail, a sense of balance and proportion, and an appreciation for beauty — all must-have qualities of a great interior designer.
The Next Step to Procuring a Killer Internship? Networking
If you’re already enrolled in a program, visit a counselor and take advantage of the career services and placement programs offered by your school. Another great way to meet people in the industry is to join the ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) or to contact local interior design firms and ask if they need help or would like to support an internship. The National Council for Interior Design Qualification also offers the Interior Design Experience Program, which helps entry-level interior designers gain valuable work experience while being supervised and acquiring valuable mentoring services.
If all else fails, attending industry events and connecting with practicing interior designers is a fantastic way to get your foot in the door.