Tips for Working with an Interior Design Student

When I was a design school student I was always looking for work outside of my studies to build my portfolio. Because of my positive experiences as a student designer, I recommend friends who have small budgets to consider this option..

Below are tips for working with an interior design student.

  • Patience: The student designer is still developing his/her skill set and refining his/her own personal style. Because the new designer doesn't have the experience yet, he/she may make mistakes here and there.
  • Flexibility: School should be the number one priority of any student. Set a flexible schedule for the project and be extra flexible around the student's final exam week.
  • Fair: Students are excited to take on their first "real" project and can sometimes overlook the technicalities. It is easy to take advantage of a situation when the other party is so naive.
  • Allow Photography: In the creative field, a portfolio versus a resume is what typically gets you the job. Therefore, designers having high quality photos of their work is crucial to showcasing talent and securing the next job.
  • Compensation: Design students realize that their worth is not yet comparable to the professionals in their field. However, there is still a value for their expertise and they should be compensated accordingly. To help determine the appropriate rate consider factors such as level in the program, any design experiences, and portfolio work.
  • Barter: I always love a good barter! Because the student is in the process of building a career, he/she may need business cards, a website, legal services, etc. This could be a great opportunity to exchange services.

Image: Bethany Nauert / Caitlin and Levi's Youthful Loft with His and Hers Offices