You have just graduated! What did you study and why?
I studied a Bachelor of Design in Interior Design with a minor in Industrial Design at QUT. I had always been one of those children with pens and paper drawing up floor plans, styling my dolls house and rearranging my bedroom every few weeks! So it was always a dream of mine from a young age to become an Interior Designer, I stuck to this idea all though my teenage and young adult years. Making the choice to commit to this aspiration through a university degree!
Was the course what you expected?
The course at QUT is a 4 year long bachelor’s degree made up of both conceptual and technical design work. The course always pushed the limits of your imagination which I really loved! I enjoyed the way we were encouraged to experiment and the indepth conceptual process which we crafted with each and every project – consisting of research, material exploration, sketching and synthesizing. Some people struggled with the ideation of imaginative conceptual work however creating new innovative spaces was something I always strived to achieve.
Why did you apply for an internship with DJI?
I applied for an internship at DJI at the start of my 3rd year at university as I knew how important it was to get industry experience as soon as I could. I had followed DJI for quite some time and always loved the projects they worked on! Also used to drive past their old Hawthorne studio quite regularly!
Was it what you expected?
It was really refreshing to discover that so many of the skills and concepts I had been taught at university did actually relate to how things where done in the studio! There was obviously soooo many things that I had to learn, and I am still learning everyday, but I remember one key element that I had never thought of… How all the products in your design get to your space! I quickly learnt how much of a process there is behind the scenes when it comes to both construction and furnishings ordering. This actually ended up becoming my main role in the studio.
What did you love about the internship?
I loved being able to learn all about products and materials and largely expand my knowledge of suppliers as I feel like this is one thing that doesn’t really get touched on enough at university. I also really love the team and atmosphere at the studio, such a lovely and talented bunch of people who are super down to earth!
Any insights that you didn’t anticipate?
One of the biggest insights I have experienced has definitely been the connection from design to construction which I get to witness every day in the studio as DJI is a design and build firm. I love the way they are able to create and execute a space exactly how they have designed it, without any risk of alterations to the end product.
Was it hard balancing studying, working and internship?? How did you do it?
I will be honest, there were definitely times when trying to fit in both a job, an internship and a university degree got tough but as I have always been someone who has worked various jobs at the same time so this was thankfully something I was used to. Time management was always highly important, and as many early mornings and late nights as there was I have always been a big deliverer in ‘good things don’t come easy’ so working hard to get where I wanted to be was important to me.
I always tried to break up my days into several ‘parts’ and turning the different ranges of work I had to get done on and off depending on where I was. I almost feel like the less time you have to achieve a task, the more productive you are!
What knowledge and skills did you learn?
To look back on the almost 2 years I have been at DJI, I know I have learnt so so much! I have increased my knowledge of how an firm operates, how designs come to life both conceptually and practically, the large ranges of suppliers and products, and what it means to be a part of a professional in the design industry. My skill set has increased hugely across a range of different programs ranging from the quoting process, orders and procurement, invoicing and payments in the role I have been currently been working in as an assistant to the designers on the furnishings side of the business. I also love being able to dabble into some graphic design work for the firms social media work!
How did you land a paid role?
I began my internship as a 3 month work experience in connection with the university that I attended. I already felt so lucky to even get this kind of experience so was blown away when I was offered to stay on as part of the team! Quite literally didn’t see it coming at all, but I knew I had always put my all into all the work I was doing and have real head down work hard kind of work ethic.
What is your role look like with DJI moving forward?
I have been lucky enough to have been offered a role as a Graduate Interior Designer with DJI! My role will be transitioning into more involvement with design documentation, working with the head designers and assisting in the procurement side of the job which I have come to know quite well. As well as collaborating with Elissa in all things marketing and social media!