I started with Elizabeth Erin Designs in October of 2018, as a senior in high school. I took part in my high schools’ School-to-Work program, which gives students the opportunity to explore a profession they are interested in, through on-the-job training at a local workplace. I was honored to be placed with Elizabeth Erin Designs and was eager to learn as much as I could about the world of interior design.
I started my intern experience by helping the designers format and assemble documents for client meetings, and assisted with home staging tasks. One of my favorite and most rewarding tasks as a high school intern was going to client meetings with the full-time designers. I found it was very beneficial to see design meetings first-hand and fully understand the role of the designer in each project. My biggest takeaways from my first year were how to work hard, communicate efficiently with clients and full-time designers, and problem solve real-life situations.
After I graduated high school, Jodi graciously offered me a position with EED as a part-time summer employee. Since then, I have continued to work during my summer and holiday breaks. The skills I have learned from EED are endless, and I could go on forever about how grateful I am for this job. First and foremost, the design knowledge and confidence I have gained over the years is incredible. Knowing that the full-time designers trust me enough to assist them in their projects, has boosted my confidence in my own skills. I have made long-lasting connections with various professionals in the design industry. I have learned that the possibilities with an interior design degree are endless and have enjoyed learning more about related fields such as home-building, cabinet design, etc. I have even gotten marketing experience as I help create social media posts for the company, and regulate some of the marketing content. Most importantly to me, I have adored getting to know all the ladies I work with at EED, as they have become my friends and mentors.
I firmly believe that internships are essential to future professional success. Although college education is needed to learn the content of a career field, gain necessary skills, and obviously earn a degree, I believe internships are the most crucial factor involved with career success. An internship teaches you what college classes cannot by giving you a real-life opportunity to apply the concepts and skills you have learned. Internships not only give you resumé experience, but also develop your soft skills, and networking capabilities.
My internship experience with EED confirmed my passion for design, and led me to pursue it professionally. I decided to attend the University of Northern Iowa to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design. I entered college in 2019 with an advantage most other freshman did not have – experience in my field, and full confidence that my major was the “right fit” for me. I am currently a sophomore and am enjoying my field more than I ever knew was possible. I am forever thankful for everything EED has given me, and am eager to see where design takes me in the future.
We are blessed to employee some of the best up and coming interior designers in training! This blog was written by Marah Schmitz, Sophomore at UNI and edited by Jodi Peterman. Fantastic job Marah!