University of Tennessee, Knoxville - Interior Design 420

Interior Design Internship

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    Erin McLevey • Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. • New York, NY • Week 7

    Erin McLevey
    Jul 17, '15 9:12 AM EST


    This week was a full and busy week. Finishing up my seventh week at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. I have continued my usual tasks as well as do a few other things. Starting out this week, I typed up and mailed a thank you note that Kevin asked me to write to the hosts of a dinner party he and Martha attended in Monaco. He noted how beautiful the flowers and view were, and how delicious the food was. In addition to this Kevin had me find and copy stories and images from older, archived issues of the magazine for story-continuation in future issues, as well as future story inspiration and references. Another interesting task I completed was for a photo shoot that happened earlier this week. I had to take props to a location for them to be picked up and taken to the shoot the next day, for this I had a private car pick me up and take me home.

    Similar to the magazine archiving project I have been continually been working on, there is also a book library that Kevin keeps as an archive. Previously I had organized this and created a database of all the books he has and needs. This week I ordered almost $400 worth of books for this library. I had to organize the orders and track their progress/delivery.

    The rest of the week was spent archiving Living and Wedding issues that I have located and re-categorizing and labeling them in the database. These additions will keep coming, which means that every time a new issue or group of issues comes in, the bookshelves with have to all shift to make room; needless to say, this project is very tedious, long and seems to be never-ending.

    Luckily, Friday we had a photo shoot for the October issue. This was very cool to be a part of because I had helped in coordinating people, places and times for this shoot. We had two dogs come in to be featured in the Pet Smart gear (like beds and clothes). Every other image that was shot was for a product that would be featured in the October Magazine.


    Since our designers don’t directly work with the consumers, this question is a little bit hard to answer. The staff at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. works with other companies that I’ve mentioned before (Pet Smart, Home Depot, Macys etc.) where those buyers and consumers interact. Every interaction is carefully tracked by those companies (as they are all very large brands), and this feedback gets back to the teams of designers at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. from where the products are edited and changed very quickly to provide a successful product.

    One of the things that Martha herself has mentioned to our team as being very important towards created a good lifestyle brand, is to make sure every product the company is making and promoting is sold at a good price, the product is has been produced well, and it represents their artistic and thoughtful design.

    As far as learning from completed projects, designs, issues etc. editors and designers go back to these and critique them with teams who learn and grow from past endeavors. This is why the archiving project is very important. Every team has a database and collection of past projects to reflect on, so I am just ensuring that our teams library is complete.


    Meeting Allison Hoffman, EVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Legal. Allison went to law school at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She knew she wanted to work at a large company later in life, but she felt that she had to work at a good law firm first. After graduating, Allison worked at a large New York City Law firm for over 15 years. After this, she moved to doing law at a media company, where she was the general counsel, HR head as well as payroll strategic development. Allison has now been at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. for two and a half years, in charge of HR and the legal department.

    Allison said that everyday at her job is very different. She deals with with the company being sold, to dealing with cell phone usage and even just fun things to do in the office. Everyday new emails and meetings come up so she is always juggling 5,000 different things. Her favorite thing about working at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. is helping to make peoples lives nicer and learning new things everyday.

    Working at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. is an interesting job because it is a different kind of law that she didn’t know existed while she was in college. She has to take classes to keep her knowledge of law current. Allison is constantly using the First Amendment and Employment Laws.

    What is your advice for interns?

    Networking with other interns and employees. These people are your peers and they will always be in your circle. Get to know everyone and stay in touch.

    Biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?

    Coming to Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. was a major risk. She had heard that isn’t a good place to work (the work, the people etc.). She said that she heard that the senior management was always changing and being replaced so it was risky to come in. But Allison said that she really enjoys the creative environment and the work that she does so this was a good risk to make.

    Biggest mistake?

    Staying at her previous company for too long. She said that she avoided risk, but now realizes that most risks usually have some benefit in the end. She also said that when she is hiring people, she doesn’t like to see resumes where people have bounced from job to job, so it shows to be committed and loyal to a company, but after a few years, it is okay to try new things and find where you fit and what you like.

    Personal life balanced with your work?

    Allison is a single mother, never married. She has six-year-old twins. She made the choice to have her twins on her own because she wanted to have a family. She has a nanny who is with her kids during the day, but she makes sure she leaves at 6:00pm to get home with them, and put them to bed. After they go to sleep she works from home. There is a balance you need to find, if you really do want to have it all.

    Biggest things to stand out on paper when you’re applying to a job?

    Fix your typos and grammar! She said this is the most annoying thing. Also, be truthful and honest in what you’re saying your job was, she hates to interview people only to find out they were stretching the truth. Also make sure that if you have a funky resume, double check that it prints easily and correctly.

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