At Billy Blue College of Design, we believe the best way to prepare yourself for a career in the interior design industry is to immerse yourself in it throughout your studies.
One of the best ways to do so? Internships.
These are a crucial part of your time at Billy Blue College of Design, as they get you integrated with the workforce and undertaking experiential learning. This provides you with essential hands-on, practical experience within an interior design studio. It allows you to take your learnings from the classroom and put it into action in real-world scenarios and design projects.
And with our strong ties to the interior design industry and connections with leading partners like Sibella Court at The Society Inc., PTW Architects, Arterra and AJC Architects, you’ll be mixing with the best in the business.
Do interior design internships increase employability?
The short answer – yes.
Completing internships is one way to level up your future employability. Having this industry experience listed on your CV is certainly something that prospective employers look favourably on and will help you demonstrate your experience.
Here are some key statistics to take note of:
- Internship experience elevates your prospects of securing employment after graduating by 85%.
- Graduates without internship experience received 16% fewer job offers.
- According to NACE, 68.3% of interns at companies are offered a full-time position.
For our Billy Blue students, the success rate of internships cannot be understated – just ask Sibella Court. Over the years, several Interior Design course students have completed work experience with Sibella and consequently gone on to secure employment at her studio, The Society Inc., including former intern Amelia Rosek and Sibella Court scholarship recipient Daisy Woolford. It is a crucial part of our partnership with the renowned interior designer, who has shown a true commitment to mentoring the next wave of emerging designers coming out of Billy Blue.
Most recently, Bachelor of Interior Design (Commercial) student Jesikah Dillon was one of two students who completed a two-week internship with Sibella.
“Excited is an understatement for how I felt when I found out I was a successful recipient for the internship. I so was thrilled to get the chance to work with a like-minded designer such as Sibella,” said Jesikah.
Benefits of an interior design internship
Completing an interior design internship has many benefits – but don’t just take our word for it. We spoke to Jesikah about what she gained from her experience. Read on for all the details.
Learn from experts
One of the biggest benefits from completing internships is the exposure it provides you to leaders in the industry. Ultimately, you are completing internships to develop your skills and gain experience, so being able to tap into the minds of successful individuals in the interior design industry is crucial.
Jesikah couldn’t speak highly enough of her time working alongside such an experienced designer.
“Having the opportunity to share my passion for design and to be guided by a such an accomplished mentor like Sibella meant a great deal to me,” said Jesikah. “It helped hone my design dexterity and provide insightful knowledge about the industry. The internship not only allowed me to explore new forms of design but also to step out of my comfort zone and really open my mind when visualising a space.”
Gain valuable work experience
Through internships, you get to immerse yourself in the day-to-day life of working in the interior design industry. This is your first chance to apply the theoretical knowledge you have been accumulating in the classroom to a real studio, with working teams and projects to deliver on.
Equally, this will allow you to familiarise yourself with the working environment so when you graduate and secure your first role in the industry, you’ll be able to hit the ground running.
Throughout Jesikah’s internship, she was able to get stuck into a wide variety of tasks. This included photography, wallpapering, mocking up furniture elevations and tile designs for one of Sibella’s projects, and joining in on immersive showroom visits.
In reflecting on her experience, Jesikah said: “Having the opportunity to get a glimpse at what day-to-day life in the industry is like only excites me more as I push closer to the end of my degree.”
Build a network
Another key benefit of completing internships is that it enables you to build your network. You’ll be able to meet and build relationships with individuals working within the industry that you are striving to build a career in.
In doing so, you’ll be exposed to people from a diverse range of backgrounds and career paths, providing you exposure to new experiences and perspectives.
And you never know... one of those people you meet just might be your next employer.
Build your confidence
For many interns, the biggest takeaway they cite is the way internships can transform your confidence.
This was no different for Jesikah, who stated: “After completing the internship, I can say I have undeniably walked away a much more confident designer compared to when I started.”
Given that for many it is their first adventure into the realm of the workforce, it’s totally normal for nerves to creep in as you move into the unknown. However, it won’t take long before you’re putting into practice everything you’ve learnt and paving your own way in the industry.
Can you do an internship while studying and how do you balance it?
When contemplating applying for internships as a current student, a question that commonly arises is how you can balance this on top of your study load and assessments.
Here are our top tips:
- Get organised and create a schedule:Know when you’re due to work at your internship, when you have class and when you have assessments due (and don’t forget to make time for your life outside of work and study).
- Work with your lecturer: Remember that most of your lecturers also work in the industry. At Billy Blue, your lecturers are here to support you during your learning but also through sharing their connections. If you’re completing an internship, whether that is part of your work-integrated learning or as extracurricular activity, be sure to check in with your academics for help balancing everything you have going on. They might also be able to help you identify any opportunities they may have through their networks.
- Be upfront with your employer: Companies who take on interns understand you will also have study commitments. So, the best approach is to be clear about your study load so together you can ensure you achieve the perfect balance.
- Enjoy the process: Take on every opportunity that comes your way and embrace it as another opportunity to learn, develop and grow as a designer