In an effort to lessen the divide between university experience and the work phase of life, we decided to launch a design internship series, each episode featuring one interior design student/graduate working at an established design firm within the Middle East and Africa region. The series aims to offer deeper insight via real life intern experiences, while showcasing the benefits of an internship program and its value add in a student’s career path. (In other words, highlighting all that can be accomplished, besides learning to serve coffee!)
Our debut episode of the Intern Files features Faizal Razak, an intern at Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ).
An Interior Design Graduate from Heriot Watt University, Faizal has been with GAJ for a month and a half, and quite confident about his extensive experience within that short time. We met him at the edgy and hip Qahwet Murjan restaurant in La Mer, and this is what he told us…
We also spoke to Paula Fay Evans, Senior Associate, Interior Design at GAJ, and Faizal’s team leader, about their intern program. Here are details…
A brief outline of the internship program
When interns join us, we take time to sit down with them and understand their personal interests and goals, so that we can tailor make the program to suit them, while also including key components of industry practice.
Although we do not have a set duration, most interns typically join us for three months, a length of time that we recommend to be able to fully benefit from the program. Regular feedback is provided, and at the end of the internship, we conduct a review of everything that they have worked on during their time with us, and specific feedback from the team and management.
We also encourage feedback, which is important to ensure that we are offering a quality internship programme. Quite often, we are an intern’s first impression of the industry and the start of their design career, so it is vital that their first experience be a positive one. We want to provide a positive and engaging environment for the interns to develop their working skills in the hope that they leave us eager to continue their design career with confidence.
Below: Faizal Razak, Interior Design Intern, and Elaine Nettleton, Communications and Business Development Manager, GAJ, at Qahwet Murjan, Dubai