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A fond farewell to our 2021/22 design interns

Education, Design, Culture

It’s been a year since our 2021/22 cohort of Design Interns joined us and, unfortunately, it will soon be time for them to move on and return to university for their final year of studies.

We sat down with Neve Rutter, Ellie Hughes, and Sophie Fowler to discuss their time at Peldon Rose, and hear about what they’ve learned, how they’ve enjoyed their placements, and why it’s an interesting time to be working in the industry.

Peldon Rose has offered design internships to undergraduate students from Nottingham Trent University’s renowned design school since 2016, offering them valuable work experience in the design and build industry.

Looking back at the answers you gave about your first few weeks at Peldon Rose, how have you found working here overall?

Neve: It’s amazing to think back on how far we’ve come; I didn’t know a lot about design and build when I joined Peldon Rose, but as an intern I’ve developed an understanding of how the industry works and how the business is structured.

Ellie: I didn’t realise how much work went into a single project when I first started but seeing behind the scenes and being part of the team has given me an appreciation of what goes into each piece of work.

Sophie: Just researching the industry doesn’t make up for being able to learn on the job and being a part of the design team has made that clear. I’ve learned so much working at Peldon Rose, I don’t think it could’ve gone better for me.

What did you enjoy the most about your internship?

Neve: Feeling valued and knowing that our opinions matter has meant a lot, we’ve been treated as employees and not just interns. Sometimes you read about internship horror stories online or on social media, but this has been amazing, and we’ve been made to feel like real members of the team.

Ellie: We’ve been given a lot of responsibility, and it’s great to know that the work we’re given is the same work we’d be able to do in a future career. The workplace culture is a big part of why I’ve enjoyed being here as well – it’s friendly and fun, and it makes you want to come in every day.

Sophie: I’ve enjoyed being able to build my confidence as a designer and find my own style to take back to university. As Ellie said, the culture of the business plays a role – I’ve met some amazing people and feel like I’ve made friends for life.

Has completing your internship given you an insight into your future career?

Neve: Going to events such as Clerkenwell Design Week and speaking to other people in the industry, you get an idea of what other people are doing – it’s made me think about the different paths I could take in the industry.

Sophie: It’s given me lots of ideas about the future, but I’m not sure which direction I’d like to go in yet. Working on real life projects makes you realise what design and build is really like – its very fast paced, but I feel like it’s opened up a lot of opportunities for me.

Ellie: Knowing what it’s like to work in a business like this is really valuable, and it’s prepared me for whatever I want to go into. Sometimes it feels like there might be too many possibilities to choose from!

Were you able to apply your learnings from university in your day-to-day role?

Neve: University gave me the foundational understanding of design and the internship has really fleshed things out. The actual degree is very conceptual, whereas this has been very hands on – you get to dive into the practical side of things, and it makes you think.

Ellie: I took a lot of conceptual ideas and software knowledge from university, but there’s been a lot of learning on the job here. Seeing a project come together from start to finish is so interesting, and it gives you such an appreciation for the technical details, it balances the conceptual from uni.

Sophie: Not as much as I thought I would, but as Neve and Ellie have said, that’s because you’re encouraged to think about the practicalities of a project as an intern. It hasn’t just been about applying what we already know, we’ve been able to develop our skills and learn more.

Has the internship equipped you for your final year at university?

Neve: I feel a lot more knowledgeable going into my final year and being at Peldon Rose has built my confidence. I’m almost worried that I’ll be thinking too practically when I go back to my course, but at least I’m prepared for the world of work!

Sophie: I was quite nervous about my last year of year, so I’m glad I was able to take the year out to build my confidence through work. It might be hard to go back to university and focus on the conceptual rather than the practical, but that’s also prepared me for a career in the future as well.

Ellie: I’m looking forward to going back to university, there’s a lot of little mistakes that we’ve learned to avoid by being able to apply our knowledge practically.

What advice would you give to future interns at Peldon Rose?

Ellie: Get involved as much as you can and don’t be afraid to ask for help if there’s something you don’t understand. It’s invaluable experience and a fantastic opportunity to learn, so getting involved in everything and saying yes as much as possible means that you get more out of it.

Sophie: Even though you might be nervous in the first few months, try to get involved as much as you can. The time will fly by, and it’ll be over before you know it, so take advantage of the opportunities that the business will offer you, like being involved in important pitches and meetings, and going out to events.

Neve: Say yes to everything – challenging yourself is a great confidence builder. After my time here I feel more confident speaking to clients, pitching, and working in a professional environment.

You started working here during COVID-19, how has your experience changed as restrictions have lifted?

Neve: Coronavirus restrictions being relaxed has definitely changed the experience – the business worked really hard to keep everyone safe, but wearing masks, for example, sometimes made it harder to connect with people. Reintroducing the social aspect over time has been great, because it’s such a big part of the company culture and what makes Peldon Rose such a wonderful place to work.

Ellie: It’s been such an interesting time to work in the industry. That’s partly because we’ve been able to see the industry come back to life after the pandemic; it’s busier and livelier now. But it’s also because the way people and work and their relationship with the workplace is changing – it’s interesting to see how Peldon Rose is taking advantage of these opportunities.

Sophie: Covid still has a presence in the industry, it’s completely reshaped the world of work. When we’re connecting with new clients, one of the things that comes up regularly is how to bring people back to the office, and how to make it work for them. It’s good that Peldon Rose has made Sterling House so accessible, I think it shows that they’re leading by example, and as an intern it made it much easier to integrate into the business and provide an environment for invaluable learning.

And finally, what’s something you’ll miss about working at Peldon Rose?

Neve: Not being able to see everyone – that’s going to take some getting used to. I’m going to miss the routine everyday as well; you’re left to your own devices at university!

Ellie: Definitely the people – they’ve made me feel like I have a place here. That’s something I’m going to really miss.

Sophie: It is going to be weird not seeing everyone every day, being part of a team provides a real support structure that you don’t really get working on your own at university.

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