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Career Exploration: Interior Design

By Madeline Nieter

I was given the opportunity to spend two rewarding days with interior designer Molly Randell at RODE Architects as part of my school’s “Career Exploration Program” (CEP). When I initially thought about places where I might want to job shadow, my mind was completely blank. After asking around, however, I realized that I had a fantastic connection to an artistic, design-based firm. This connection to RODE empowered me to gain considerable insight into what this profession is all about. I had no idea what to expect on my first day since I had never before completed a job shadow and/or been specifically interested in architecture or interior design. After this incredible experience, I can confidently say that is not the case anymore.

My first day started with a client meeting, which was followed by a tour of the stylistic office and a rundown of general information about the interiors department. I was also introduced to an engaging design project that I worked on over the course of my two-day stay. After lunch, I had the pleasure of helping the architecture interns with some of their projects for the firm.

By my second day, I already felt comfortable in the work environment, and I spent most of the morning completing my design project. The end result was a slideshow, which included my own mood board, concept imagery, and finish palette for a pretend fictional restaurant concept. As a whole, this project gave me first-hand insight into the kinds of skills that are often employed by interior designers, and it gave me a taste of what it would be like to start an interior project. During the second half of the day, I spent more time in the architecture department and tried to assist the interns one last time to the best of my ability. To finish off my experience, I got to attend an interior design trade show. This was a stimulating environment in which I was able to learn more about interiors, meet other designers and salespeople, and just to have an enjoyable afternoon interacting with creative minds and inspiring designers.

"Restaurant Nieter" Design Project

Going into architecture or interior design had not been on my radar before this experience, but that has most definitely changed. My time in such an engaging office with supportive staff has pointed me in the direction of potentially studying architecture and/or interior design. I gained a vast amount of professional knowledge and experience over the course of my two days, yet I wish that I could have stayed longer.

I can’t thank RODE enough for teaching me new skills and for empowering me with an opportunity to learn more about myself and my future!


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