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The “I” in Internship

As a 3rd year student at Iowa State University in the Interior design program it is required to have a summer internship experience to graduate. Beginning the application process in January of 2017, the search was on, however there were many questions I was asking myself

What do I want to get out of this internship?
A learning experience, to engage in hands on design and further develop my client communication skills. I also wanted the ability to make a mistake and be taught why and how to become a better designer moving forward with it.
What area of design do I like?
Small boutique, commercial mixed with residential.
Do I want a small firm or big firm?
Small & personal.
Where could I see myself living?
Fun, artistic city, with many new things to try and still has grass. (I’m from IA- we love grass.)
What do I fear most?
Not being challenged to become a better designer and/or being the coffee runner working in a broom closet.

After sending out over 30 resumes and interviewing in multiple states, one firm had the answer to all my questions. I accepted the offer from PPDS, packed my bags, and moved to Austin. I began my internship May 15th and technically finished my internship course July 15th, however decided to extend my internship until mid-August. During my time at PPDS I was able to work on over 10 design projects and learn more than I ever imagined. From the first day the PPDS team was welcoming, upbeat, and willing to teach in all situations. Since starting at PPDS – I have positively grown as a designer in my ability to multitask, see detail, and confidently select furniture and materials for clients. From concept images to finish selections, space planning, writing, as well as placing purchase orders – I was given independence and exposure to all stages of the design process. I received the opportunity to lead a client meeting and furnish a residence independently, and provided help when needed. Feeling trusted and challenged to push myself in this internship made me gain confidence and excitement as a young designer. I enjoyed being included in Rep meetings and CEU’s, learning about upcoming trends and materials in the design field.  I have been given a broad and rich learning experience at PPDS and will return to school with a much deeper understanding of the Interior Design industry.

The BEST part of my internship was always feeling as a valued member of the PPDS/ACI team. I felt comfortable to just be myself, suggestions and design ideas were listened to and I was always encouraged to be creative. Each individual designer at PPDS taught me something valuable to carry forward into my future as an interior designer and this has been an internship I will never forget.

“Bittersweetly” returning to Iowa State for a final year of school, I will apply this experience and constructive feedback to further challenge myself in my education, as well as my future design career. Overall, this has been one of the most valuable learning opportunities I have ever had, not only from PPDS – but moving to a new city alone. (I now highly recommend it!) I will miss Austin, breakfast tacos, and the PPDS team very much! I am so blessed to have been a part of this unique city and design firm.

Thinking back to what I wanted to get out of this Internship – Austin and PPDS were exactly it. I would recommend PPDS to any interior design student looking for a personal and hands-on internship! They are simply the best.




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