If you do a quick web search about the benefits of interning, the results are overwhelming. While an internship is a commitment of time and energy, the industry experience is well worth it. An interior design internship at HPAD, Dallas, is an opportunity for design students to apply their knowledge in the real world. It’s also a great industry networking position and a chance to learn from senior designers.
Kayla Pinard answers a few questions about what it’s like to be an interior design intern at HPAD, Dallas.
KP: Hi there! I’m Kayla Pinard and have been lucky enough to intern with HPAD this past summer and now during December/January. I am finishing up school at Oklahoma State in May and couldn’t be more excited. I have had such a great time at HPAD and have learned so much thanks to all the people here.
Why interior design?
KP: People ask me all the time why I have chosen interior design as my career path. Even as a kid I have always been interested in mixing or matching patterns and colors to see what works best with what etc. I grew up watching my grandfather construct and build houses from start to finish. He would also refurbish antique furniture such as chairs, tables, etc. He is so talented and creative with what he does which is where I believe a lot of my passion for design comes from.
Why did you choose an interior design internship with HPA Design Group?
KP: I researched a variety of firms in Dallas along with firms out of state to keep options open- in case I wasn’t offered the position here. I was interested in HPAD specifically because the size of the company wasn’t too overwhelming, the variety of locations, and because of the specializing in multifamily, mixed use and hospitality/resort design, high/midrise, student/senior living, etc. I feel like designers are able to express themselves more freely with this type of design in my opinion.
What things you have learned while interning at HPAD?
KP: I think that requiring an internship to graduate is so beneficial. I have learned so much from my internship than I did in school. Yes, I learned the basics and whatnot in school but you are exposed to so much more when there are real clients, budget sheets, coworkers and deadlines. I feel like I have become better at communication, time management, and hopefully a better interior designer. Being around designers that have work experience is also helpful because they share their ideas/opinions and what they’ve failed at or exceeded at.
Has your outlook changed since interning at HPAD?
KP: I was always anxious during school when working on projects wondering if I’ll survive in the ‘real world’. Now that I have experienced the real world for a few months, I’m more excited to be done with school and start doing what I appreciate. I truly enjoy interior design to where it doesn’t feel like work (I hope that mentality lasts).
What wisdom can you share with students considering an interior design internship?
KP: Ask as many questions as possible. Work on as many tasks as they allow – no task is pointless. Connect with as many people as possible, not in a fake way but truly get to know them. You never know who you will run into later on in life.