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There are many types of interior design internships available through various companies. The main types of internships available to interior design students or recent graduates are with design houses, design firms, specialty design centers, as well as textile and furniture designers. These internships can be offered with or without pay and are designed to help provide real world experience. These internship positions can include administrative work, assisting with production work or even helping with design work depending on the position and the company.
Paid internships are prime opportunities when they are available, because the intern is getting paid to learn on the job. Classroom experience is no substitution for real life experience, so any type of interior design internship is valuable. Many internship opportunities are available though college career development centers. This is a good place to start applying for internships before finishing school, because this allows time for experience and possible career advancement to occur directly after graduating.
Unpaid interior design internships are also a nice way to enter into the industry. Without entering as an intern, getting a position in this industry can be difficult at times. Interior design internships can also be used as an industry reference when applying for a higher position with another firm. It is wise to choose a position that is within an area of interest or the realm of study a person has done. This can increase the chances of career advancement within a particular sector of the interior design industry.
There are many specialized areas of interior design that require a specific knowledge and skill set to enter. These specialties dominate only a certain sector of the interior design industry. Some specialty fields include green building, which is building to environmentally-heightened specifications, residential or commercial design, and minimalistic design. It can be beneficial to intern for any of these specialty sectors if the intern is seeking a career in any of these areas.
Some companies offer summer interior design internships to give students the opportunity to gain experience while on summer break from attending school. This can help with building a resume and gaining references or even referrals to use after graduating and earning a degree in interior design. Volunteer work as well as other summer work experience can be added to a student's resume to help towards attaining a position with a design firm.