University of Tennessee, Knoxville - Interior Design 420

Interior Design Internship

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    Week 3 - CBI - Rachel Mingle

    By rmingle1
    Jul 10, '16 10:31 PM EST

    Summary –

    Well this week has been rather slow after the holiday weekend, it seems that everyone headed out for vacation, including our president. I worked on miscellaneous little tasks it seemed like all week. A few of the tasks included checking drawings, checking purchase acknowledgements, organizing our fabric sample collection, and updating our sale representatives contact information. This is the nature of a furniture dealer company; some weeks we may be there until 7pm every day, and others we may be finding ourselves leaving as early as 4pm. On Thursday evening we were invited over to one of the local firms to network and meet some potential clients. Friday was a hot day in the office since our AC went out early in the day making it almost impossible to work. I had a conference video call with the other CBI interns on Friday to discuss the LeadingEDGE project that the interns do every year. It is typically a video we work on together to showcase our experience here at CBI. I think this is a really great thing that CBI does with their internship program that differs from other firms.

    Focus –

    Again, CBI may be a little differ since they are technically a furniture dealer rather than a design firm. However, since CBI works with many design firms usually early on in the process of a design, I think they take great value in the interior design profession. Almost everyone that works as a project manager at CBI is a licensed interior designer. I believe we have nearly no architects. As a company, because of the nature of the work, we work with many different professions on every project. Typically, CBI project managers coordinate with interior designers, general contractors, contract installers, and electricians daily. CBI and the employees are involved with many professional organizations including IIDA and the NCIDQ. They also believe as a company in giving back to the communities in the market’s they serve. CBI is involved in many community projects and fundraisers weekly. Actually, this coming Tuesday, all of us at the Knoxville office will be volunteering half the work day at KDM, Kingdom Design Ministries. This is an organization which remodels houses for people with disabilities. Another great thing is that every employee is required to take a certain amount of training classes a year to stay up to date on products or business development. So far I have not personally seen any issues between designer and designer or designer and client but I have seen issues between designer and the installer that we contract out to install our furniture systems. There is sometimes lack of communication or the inability to read drawings which I think in most cases is not the designer’s fault but maybe lack of knowledge of the installer in our industry. CBI usually handles these issues directly and in a calm manner and the issues get resolved quickly. I see the people at CBI as one big family. They all know how to behave professionally but they also care about one another and lift one another up always which really surprises me because I know not all workplaces can be like that.


    Meet –

    Maccarenca Blackhart is our project manager at the CBI Chattanooga Learning Center location. She is an amazing person inside and out. I had the chance to meet her in person last week and I loved how she welcomed me with open arms like I had been with CBI for a while. She also felt like a friend and someone I could chat with, which was also very nice. We talk weekly because the Knoxville and Chattanooga location stay in communication a lot. Since she is currently the only project manager at the Chattanooga location, the project managers or interns, like me, help her on various projects. She deals with clients, bids, proposals and orders just like our project managers here in Knoxville.

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About this Blog

This will be the community Blog for IDS 420 Summer 2016. Students will post their responses to weekly Journal Assignments here as well as view posts/comments from other participants.

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  • Tim Dolan
  • hstarnes
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  • rmingle1

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