Sara Hahn shares more about her interior design internship and what experiences she’ll take back to South Dakota State University.

Read Sara’s story below and then take a look at all Intern Spotlights to meet others with a unique experience.

Q: How did you discover the interior design profession and why did you decide to study interior design?

A: I first started to think about interior design at a young age. I remember in elementary school drawing out floorplans and perspectives of my dream house. This passion evolved throughout the years because it was a way to combine creative and technical thinking. After a college visit and seeing everything that interior design can offer (not just decorating!) I knew it was a perfect match for me.


Q: How did you learn about INVISION and the internship opportunities available?

A: I actually found the opportunity online on INVISION’s website. After doing some research on the firm, I really liked their variety of design styles and projects, and filled out the online application.


Q: When did you decide on an internship at INVISION and when did you start?

A: I interviewed at the end of March and accepted the internship about two weeks later. I started my internship the second week in June after completing a travel study for school, and I will work into August until school starts again.


Q: What type of work and projects did you experience in your summer internship?

A: I was able to experience a wide range of work during my internship. I mainly helped with a hospitality project, and a little with healthcare and education. When I first started I spent time organizing the materials library and getting more familiar with manufacturers. I quickly jumped into working on design presentations, a marketing presentation, material boards and binders, furniture specifications, and red lines.


Q: What type of personal development opportunities did you experience during your summer internship?

A: I learned a lot working firsthand on projects. It was also very interesting to get a glimpse into how the business behind design and architecture works, which is something that is never really covered in academics. Over my internship I feel that I learned so much from what I worked on and observed, and it makes me excited about what this profession has to offer.


Q: What was your favorite thing about your summer internship?

A: My favorite part was how involved I was able to get. I got to help with a lot of projects and in turn learned a lot about the design process. I also enjoyed getting to know the people in the office. Everyone was so friendly and willing to answer any question I might have. I also enjoyed getting to know people better by going to office events, Friday breakfasts, and playing on the office volleyball team.


Q: What surprised you the most about your internship experience?

A: The amount of work I was able to be involved with surprised me. I felt that I was an integrated part of the design team, and I wasn’t always just doing behind the scenes work.


Q: Where did your summer internship experience lead you to next?

A: After my internship this summer I will go on to complete my senior year at South Dakota State University. I feel that my time working at INVISION will help me excel in my last year of school and prepare me for after graduation.


Q: What advice would you give to architecture students looking for an internship?

A: I would advise students to do research and find an architecture firm that fits their interests. Doing some self-reflection and knowing what type of tasks, and what size and type of projects you are passionate about will help benefit your search. Doing research and branching out to find a good fit of projects and office culture will make your experience will be that much better.