Nurturing future talent - an interview with Katie Boc

Danielle Emery, Head of Marketing Education, Culture

Katie Boc was a part of the 2019/20 cohort as a part of Peldon Rose annual design internship from Nottingham Trent University. Now she has returned to university following a successful placement year, we caught up with Katie to understand how her year in industry experience has set her up for her final year of studies and a future as a technical designer.

Starting my career journey as a technical designer

My university course was prominently concept based, with only an hour a week of technical studies. The Peldon Rose internship provided me with an opportunity that would allow me to gain knowledge in an area that I wasn’t fully exposed to during my time at university.

When starting the internship, I had very little knowledge regarding what the responsibilities were within the design and build industry, specifically the role of the technical design team as this was the first time I had been focused primarily in this area of expertise.

Invaluable on the job training

During my first week, I quickly made relationships within the technical design team and was briefed on the projects that I would be contributing towards. This included the invaluable experience I would gain from my mentor, Adrian Turner, who taught me how to use the relevant software, and how to begin creating elevations and plans for areas within a build that I previously had no knowledge about.

Being exposed to this level of detail, and having the trust and confidence behind me from the team to create drawings, which would inevitably be used for construction, was something that I wasn’t expecting to happen so early on in my internship. This type of exposure allowed my confidence and knowledge to grow as I was applying myself, whilst continuously learning throughout the process.

A unique cultural experience

The strong relationships and sense of community within the workplace environment at Peldon Rose allowed me to talk to others, seek guidance and excel with ease. The entire team were always willing to help and share their time.

These strong relationships enabled me to work in different areas of the business, gaining new experiences and knowledge to understand how others work and what each job role entails.

The importance of a physical workplace

The people-centric culture, being so close and open with one another has definitely shown me the importance of what community within the workplace brings. Positive attitudes, a learning mindset, underpinned by strong values sets the foundations for employees to carry out their daily tasks.

I gained a lot of trust from the technical design team, as well as the wider design team by sharing the same collaborative working space, which enabled us to work together on projects with ease. I was trusted to design areas for different projects, which gave me insight to how the concept team works and how the design process is carried out.

This was an invaluable exercise as I will now look at my own design process in a similar way when returning to university. I have learned about the complete process and the attention to detail required when delivering my design proposal and presenting them in a way that will be eye catching and memorable for a client.

Applying my skills in the built environment

After working on live projects such as Spacemade, seeing work that I had contributed towards be built and come to life was truly unique. The internship has given me an insight to the career path that I will pursue once I graduate from university.

I feel that as a technical designer, I am able to both develop my knowledge constantly due to the nature of every project being bespoke, but also have design input when taking the client on a journey through their vision for what their office or space will look like once finished.

Comparing my career prospects to when I started university three years ago, being predominately design and concept based to now being technical based is something that I had never expected, and I very much look forward to applying the knowledge learnt to my projects during my final year of university.

An experience that has set me up for life

Peldon Rose allowed me to grow, both as a person with my confidence and academically. When I compare the knowledge that I had on first arriving to when I left, I am taken aback. From not knowing what level of detail was required in a technical pack when I first started the internship, to be given the opportunity and trusted to lead my own technical project was an amazing experience.

I will always be grateful for the time and knowledge the team gave me, particularly Adrian Turner and Steve Williams. I’d like to thank JP for giving me this amazing opportunity and thank the wider Peldon Rose team for being so supportive and welcoming. I’ve made some many great friends.

I look forward to seeing everyone once I finish my degree!

What the future holds

Although I’m excited to go back to university, which is strange experience due to the impact of Covid-19; we are only able to access the university campus once a week for our design studio day and meet tutors for feedback, the remainder of the learning being online. I very much miss the sense of community and colleagues at Peldon Rose, and everything that being based in a workplace brings.

Detail shot of brown terazzo worktop with brown leather seating

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