Life as a Placement Student
My initial thoughts were ‘Am I good enough?’ when beginning my University sandwich year as an Interior Architecture student. Tibbatts Abel couldn’t have been more welcoming, enthusiasm shone through and I felt at ease straight away. With it being a fairly small company, they’re like a family - It’s such a refreshing place to work.
I remember my first day like it was only yesterday. I was shown the ropes, introduced to the roles and settled in perfectly. It took a while to get used to the system and method of doing things, very daunting at first, although hugely exciting! A benefit was having Georgia (who was the current placement student) to cross over with before she left for her final year, as she was in the same boat as me the previously!
One of the most exciting things about working here is that every day is different. So many project variations are flying round the office, there’s never a dull moment! You can always rely on everyone to be knowledgeable and so understanding, whatever questions you ask. I’ve worked alongside most people in the team at some point, making it a valuable learning curve for myself. My skills with software programmes, detailing and communication have improved massively since being here.
The first part of the year went so fast; before I knew it, we were having our Christmas party, and moving office to the heart of the Jewellery Quarter! This was a great opportunity to get to know everyone on more of a personal level, I’ve made some friends for life! The move was a great bounce for the company as the team has grown in many ways, and the office is stunning – even if it has a view of a graveyard!
I’m lucky enough to have had the opportunity to visit a few sites whilst being at Tibbatts Abel, and see some of my work through to completion; I never thought I’d see that day, so invaluable! With the guidance from everyone at Tibbatts Abel, and the other networks I have made, I can only reflect on what has been an amazing experience, and a year that I’ll never forget.
Benefits of an Interior Design Placement:
Interior Architecture and Design placements are hugely important, to help gain an industry experience before graduating. I believe it’s one of the best ways to achieve gaining experience within technical skilled areas, at the same time as creating a clear vision of how something will look.
Is it for you?
People think that ‘Interior Design’ is just putting colours and materials together, when really, it’s so much more! Each project has a programme varying in size and depth, offering a different perspective towards design. Getting hands on in the real world will outline whether it’s the right job for you!
Adding to your CV!
Getting a job as a graduate is extremely hard these days, especially in this area of industry. Experience is key, allowing you to add to your resume, making you stand out from the rest!
What do you need to improve?
Before working in the ‘real-world’, there are so many things you wouldn’t even realise involved with working in practice. A perfect reason why putting your education to use, by working in an internship is a great idea. By asking questions and taking in advice will help you overall improve as a person.
What most interests you within the industry?
You may not realise exactly what your cup of tea is with design, whether it’s in hospitality, health care, industrial or residential. The only way you’ll realise is by gaining a placement and grasping a real understanding of the ins and outs of the design aspects. The end of placement will make you almost certain of the pathway you want to follow.
Building your network.
Experience may be ticked off the list, but networking is an additional area you need to ensure to cover. Networking in this highly competitive field, is vital to a successful career. Getting a jump-start as an intern will only give you the extra edge. Taking part in social activities available through your internship and getting to know the other colleagues on a personal level is extremely valuable. Most importantly, keep in touch!
From Charlotte Stone at Tibbatts Abel.
Have you done a placement year? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!