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

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Style, Interior Design

Marcia is an interior, portrait, and travel photographer and has photographed over 50 homes of creatives. Her photographic style is capturing her subject in the most natural state and creating an emotional response.