The interior design internship is an Interior Design degree requirement, which gives the student the opportunity to apply design theory to a practical work experience. It provides an opportunity for one to confer with and to observe successful design firms. A large part of a student’s learning about the profession of interior design can be gained through constant observation and awareness of the built environment and by actual experience gained from working with persons in the professional interior design field. A positive attitude coupled with the knowledge one receives during the internship experience can start the student toward a rewarding career in interior design.
For the intern experience, students are encouraged to seek the areas of application that they would hope to pursue as a future career. It is the hope and intention of the UTC Interior Design Department that the student will participate in a wide variety of activities of the particular design firm and that they, in turn, will be of some service and assistance to the professional host employer.
The student receives three (3) semester hours of university academic credit for participation in the internship program (320 hours). A grade is earned on the basis of the student’s involvement in the work of the firm, the written reports, the research paper and the final presentation. All correspondence between the student and the coordinator is treated in a strictly confidential manner.
It is important for the student to remember that once in the internship position one is seldom considered a student. He/she has become a professional business person and the host design firm expects professionalism when dealing with their clientele and/or business associates. Confidentiality to the host design firm must be honored. It is considered inappropriate to discuss business dealings or design projects outside the host firm unless authorized to do so. The intern is in the professional world of design and must conduct himself/herself as an ethical business person.
Always remember that you are not only representing the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the Interior Design Department, but you are also a part of the firm in which you are interning. You need to check with your host firm to determine if they have policies regarding dress codes, smoking, piercings/tattoos, confidentiality, work schedules and procedures to follow in working with clients.