April is National Internship Awareness Month – Read What Kathryn Had to Say About Her Time As An Intern With Us!
April is National Internship Awareness Month, and we asked Kathryn McNeil, our Interior Design intern (and soon to be full time employee!) about her time at Cline Design Associates for the past year and a half – see what she has to say!
What were you looking for in an internship when you applied to Cline Design?
When I applied to Cline I was currently working at a high-end residential firm. I loved working for my previous employer but I wanted to find a place that gave me more responsibility in the design field, and would help me grow and learn further as a designer. I’d always had residential internships up until Cline so I decided to give the commercial field a shot. It ended up working out much better than I expected! I wanted to find not only just a team that I meshed well with, but the whole company.
What has been the most valuable thing you’ve learned working at Cline Design? How has it prepared you for a future full-time job in Interior Design?
There have been so many valuable things I’ve learned at Cline. It’s hard to pick just one! I’d say one of the most important things I’ve learned is how to be more independent on projects, and feel more confident in sharing my opinions and ideas. The thought of taking charge of any part of a project used to intimidate me, but now I see it as a fun and a new opportunity to learn something. I used to get nervous when one of the designers would ask me to work on something and I’d think to myself, how do they want it done exactly? What if they don’t like it? What if it’s not enough? There are still times that I can feel a little overwhelmed, but I now feel more comfortable when I am working on a project. Over the past year and a half at Cline Design, I feel like the other designers I’ve worked with have learned to trust me and my designs, which has helped build my confidence- and now I enjoy a challenge!
What has been your favorite part about interning with us?
My favorite part has been the people and the unique connection that they offer. Before I worked here I never really felt at home with previous internships. I always felt like I was at just at work instead of a second home- I was always looking forward to 5:30. Here I feel like I have made friends within the company. We enjoy hanging out and doing things together outside of the office. They’re not only friendships, but it feels like there is a mentor around every corner. We also have great leadership in our Raleigh office that coordinates our social events which anyone can sign up for. My favorite part is our volleyball league we have every year. I enjoyed playing sports in high school and college so it’s nice to find that connection with others in my company as well.
Can you describe what a typical day looks like for you?
A typical day for me is never the same. Since I work under 6 designers, there are many people I am working with every day. Tasks can range from the following: selecting and ordering finishes and furniture, creating a concept presentation, working in the Adobe Suite, tracking FF&E for a project, calling reps and vendors, site visits, going to an installation, simple admin tasks like library organization, sitting in on a client meeting, working in Revit on a construction document set. Since we have so many phases in our projects, it’s nice to always be doing something different. It keeps me on my toes and keeps things interesting.
Do you have any advice for those who want to apply for an internship at Cline?
Be yourself! Often times in interviews we want to pretend to be this hypothetical person that you think they are looking to hire. Be honest with your previous experience, and tell them what you are looking for. Know what you want from your internship experience, and prove to them what you are capable of. If you don’t get the internship you are hoping for, know that you will find one that will be a great fit for you. There are so many incredible opportunities out there in our industry that we don’t always take advantage of. When you take the step to explore something new you just might find your next job!