Interior design and interior architecture students have been given the opportunity to join the workforce in their second year of study.
Interiors students at The Cass have been given the opportunity to start work placements in their second year, giving them crucial work experience and networking opportunities before they have graduated.
Organised by Kaye Newman, Head of Cass Interiors, every student on London Met's interior design, interior architecture and design or interior design and decoration courses was offered a five-week work placement with top London architecture and interior design practices. Over 50 placements were secured with a variety of practices to ensure every student gets the same level of experience.
“I was really nervous to work at such a big company,” said interior architecture and design student Mariachiara Dal Pozzo who was placed at TP Bennett, a leading architecture, interior design and town planning practice that boasts the biggest interiors team in the UK and has over 300 members of staff. “But it actually didn’t feel like a big company, they all know each other and work in small teams.”
“It was really helpful to understand how things work in reality, outside our university bubble” she continued. “I worked with the interiors team over about five different projects doing CAD drawings and photoshop work. What was interesting is in the workplace it was more about what you can actually do and deliver rather than concepts and ideas."
“I can totally relate to Mariachiara’s experience,” said Yasemen Gokce, second year interior design student, “We were working across so many projects, but I found it wasn’t just about your skill, at Jestico and Wiles, it’s developing lots of ideas too.”
“What was the most fascinating was working with a huge range of materials” she continued, “It’s a really interesting and important aspect of design that I didn’t understand before, getting to know the kinds of materials you can work with influences your choices in design.”
Worood (Rose) Alkhafaf, second year interior design student, had a similar experience. “The material sample room at Carlisle Design Studio was amazing” she said, “There are so many samples, and so many of them looked the same to me but you start seeing these small differences.”
Rose’s placement at the luxury residential interior designers had her working on a single international project for a residence in Nigeria, “It was great,” said Rose “I felt included in everything, I was invited to all the meetings and the staff were so welcoming and helpful.”
The placement has made Rose think carefully about the opportunities that can come with working in a smaller firm, “I think you get to be more involved with different areas than in a large company, and I think I’d like the pressure.”
Mariachiara’s experience swayed her in the other direction, “I liked the big company, more than I thought I would,” she said, “It still felt friendly and like a team.”
Second year interior design student Blazhka Marnikova was placed at concept interior design company YOO. “It was quite small, based across just two studios so I got to work with everyone in the studio I was in.” Blazhka was working on CAD and photoshop designs and meeting with suppliers, “I noticed that the studio don’t do their own site surveys, they have to go through the architects,” she said, “I think I’d like to do these in my next internship.”
All the students agreed that the work placements were a brilliant experience, “I think it will have a huge effect on our work and what we produce,” said Yasemen.
“And it’s been a great opportunity to network,” said Mariachaira, “It’s really important to stay in touch with the companies we’ve been in.”
“All the companies have been really impressed with our students,” says Kaye Newman, organiser of the whole programme, “And it’s been a great success with our students.