Posted on 9/9/2012 8:40 PM by AnnMarie

…[design] ducks that is! As the summer has come to a close, I would like to give some insight on my internship here in Nashville, Tenn. As the winner of the I Like Design Competition 2012, I have had the great opportunity to intern for Gresham, Smith and Partners. Traveling here from the small town of Nacogdoches, Texas, I have enjoyed being the new kid in town. There is a ton to do and not enough time to get it all done!

In preparation of this blog, I contemplated long and hard about a way to sum up this summer, and the ducks that graze around my apartment do just that:

Except for their painfully slow trek across the road while I’m trying to make it to work in the mornings, I would like to use them as an allegory of what I am taking away from this experience. This is the time to get my [design] ducks in a row, and figure out how I am going to begin build up my design profession, by building upon new job experiences—and this one has been the perfect starting place! I have been able to evaluate different design aspects and get a good understanding of how it all works together in a professional setting. Although I’m just getting started, I am already pleased with what I see in the design world and am ecstatic about my future ventures ahead!

In school, you have this vision of what your design job will be like one day—designing buildings from scratch, choosing everything you would like to go into the space, and seeing your masterpiece come to life just like you planned it (NOT interior design reality, but it’s okay to dream). Though I am not designing spaces from the ground up, I have enjoyed taking part in the process and experiencing REAL life design.

Since I am the interiors intern, I have done a multitude of different tasks for all sorts of projects—healthcare, corporate, and state. Granted, the tasks are mainly revisions and plotting floor plans but they have all been to my advantage. I have been able to brush up on my computer drafting skills and learn some new programs in the process. This I feel, is vital in getting better prepared for the design field. Along with my normal daily tasks, I have been able to visit some job sites and take part in more ‘hands-on’ training. Lesson learned: Wear a good pair of shoes!

Second lesson learned: Don’t try to take pictures while driving. Lucky for you I managed to take a close to professional photo for your viewing pleasure of the best view on my way to work. Squint your eyes, because that’s as good as it gets with a driving snapshot.

So alongside working, I have been able to sight see and visit some really neat places here. Since there are TOO many to list of everything I’ve seen and done, I’ll give you some highlights. But you’ll definitely have to visit to get the full effect! 

First, here is a shot of where I spend most of my day. I love that from every angle I have a great view of downtown. Being from a small town, it has been a nice change of scenery.

As far as food establishments go, I haven’t even brushed the surface of the many options. But, one place I did visit my first week here was the Loveless Café. It’s the perfect place for a homemade meal and EVERYTHING is good! Although it is a bit longer wait than the normal desired “breakfast wait time,” the homemade biscuits and jam were worth it!

Not only have I been able to explore Nashville, but Chicago was also on my list of exciting things! Along with winning the internship, I accompanied I&S to NeoCon and while I was there, met all the sponsors of the competition and scouted out the newest and greatest products at the show. It was a great added bonus to this internship.

Aside from the occasional sight-seeing, or a good meal at a new restaurant, I have really enjoyed the opportunity to learn and gain some new knowledge at GS&P. They have been a great company to work for! With this internship, I can take away some valuable skills and put them to good use in my future endeavors.

Thank you both GS&P and Interiors & Sources magazine for the opportunity. I look forward to seeing this coming year’s new competition pieces from all of the talented designers out there!