Graphic Design & Project Management

Sadie M. Beebe
Emphasis Area
Spatial Organization & Design Thinking

Sadie Beebe reached out to a local design firm to land an internship at Sol Haus Design and built skills in client communication and project management.

How did you get your internship and why did you choose it?

I prepared for this internship experience this summer during the spring semester. During that time, I was researching small interior design and architecture companies in my hometown. After compiling a list of organizations and listing them in order of preference, I began emailing the company addresses on their websites expressing my interest to work as a summer intern. I received a response from an assistant at a small architecture company called Sol Haus Design, and from there I began an email exchange with the owner of the company. We discussed my resume, projects I could work on with Sol Haus, experience, and my ability to support their company vision. The owner and I had a final zoom interview, and at that point I had the job! 

I chose to work for Sol Haus Design because the company is focused on issues that I am passionate about solving, such as affordable housing and low waste practices. The alignment of values really guided my decision to work for them.

What kind of work did you do throughout your internship experience?

This summer, I worked in a hybrid format focusing on primarily graphic design work to assemble an impact report for Sol Haus. This summer the company was undergoing B Corps certification, which is a registration and education that company owners go through to ensure equity, sustainability, and community engagement in the organization. The impact report is a summary of work from 2023 that demonstrates how Sol Haus has invested in low waste design and is bringing more affordable houses to the community as the price of living in California continues to increase. I assembled and organized interview questions, communicated with clients about their Sol Haus homes, and worked on Canva to create visualizations of the collected data.

What skills did you develop in this internship?

A transferable skill that I feel very confident in after this internship is client communication. I was responsible for scheduling interview conversations with clients and followed up with each person to gather data for the impact report. Along the way, I was advised on email composition and timing. This experience was valuable because as a designer in the future, client communication is vital to support their needs and reach deadlines. In addition, I felt like I learned about the architectural process and relevant issues in construction and government housing policies. I was grateful that the project had an environmental component as I want to be thoughtful about my footprint on the earth as a designer.

What was your favorite part of your internship?

The most satisfying part of this internship was the sense of completion in finishing it! This job was project-oriented since I really only had one large task to complete over the course of the summer that consisted of many small components. It was difficult at times to keep the bigger picture in mind when working on smaller pieces of the project that weren’t design-focused. I had meetings every week in person with my boss, which always reoriented my goals for the week and helped me feel inspired to do good work. I was really pleased when the project was completed because the revision process for graphic design was exhausting and time consuming. Once the vision finally came together, I was really excited!

How did your Applied Humanities major coursework help prepare you for the internship experience?

The Applied Humanities course that I took in the Spring before this internship was essential to my success this summer. The PAH 383 Pre-Internship: Building Career Readiness course helped me organize my professional materials such as my resume and LinkedIn profile, as well as taught me how to write an introductory email and how to communicate my skills and ambitions to a potential employer. None of these things had been outlined to me prior to this course. The professors instilled confidence, persistence, and professional etiquette in us throughout that class.