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Kendall Internship provides valuable experience for Interior Design Students

Posted December 9, 2010


Shrea Dooley and Andrea Sherburn, both seniors in the interior design department, are getting a real life, hands on experience at Kendall as participants in the internship program. 

They are learning what it is like to have a client follow their recommendations and having the joy of seeing a computer aided drawing (CAD) come to life with walls, windows, hallways and all that is involved in creating well designed functional spaces for clients. 

Michele Kleyla, IIDA, Adjunct Instructor in charge of the Kendall intern program, says, “Lots of times student interns don’t get to really design.  They file, make phone calls, follow up and do interesting things, but these students actually work with clients.” 

The college has four to six interns at a time, split between juniors and seniors.  The internship is approximately ten hours a week with a two-year commitment.  “We planned that intentionally so that the seniors could mentor the juniors just like you might have in real life.” 

The students work with local not-for-profit organizations lacking the budget to hire professional designers and are supervised by Kleyla who sees herself as a coach.    In some cases, the interns prepare a plan so that the organization can go out and raise the money, knowing what their project would cost.

Recent projects have included Alpha Women’s Center, Mel Trotter and Camp Blodgett, Heart side/Degage Center.

“It is so cool to see your CAD drawing get built up,” says Shrea.  Most of the time the students do projects for class but don’t get to see them executed.  Andrea says she loves the conversations with the clients, listening to their needs and then coming up with a plan. 

On a recent tour of the Alpha Women’s Center, Carolyn Koole, the executive director, told the students, “ You’ve left your mark.  Your handprints are everywhere in this building.” 

-Susan J. Smith 


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