September 16, 2016 Odom Works Alongside Top Designers at Gensler Internship
Taylor Odom, who just began her fourth year in the School of Interior Design, spent Summer 2016 serving as an intern at Gensler, an award-winning, billion-dollar global design firm that serves more than 3,500 clients in a variety of industries.
Each year, Gensler awards the Gensler Brinkmann Scholarship to talented students who, in addition to achieving academic excellence, demonstrate creativity through innovative, compelling designs and thoughtful presentations. This year, Odom earned second place, which included an invitation to intern in Chicago at one of Gensler’s 46 offices.
“My experience in Chicago has had far-reaching effects,” Odom said upon her return from Chicago. “I grew both as a designer and a professional. Gensler has cultivated a workplace culture that encourages personal growth as well as collaboration and communication, all of which are critical in the design field.”
Odom’s own second-place design, which included moveable walls and adaptable workspaces, highlights the value of workplaces that facilitate collaboration and encourage transformation.
Odom spent the summer working alongside top designers, joining them in nearly every step of the design process. She assisted with client presentations, test-fits and construction documents. She further participated in design projects by helping pick out and coordinate materials and furniture, sitting in on client meetings and going to on-site visits.
In addition to gaining invaluable experience in the field, Odom collaborated with other interns to produce a video and booklet inspired by their summer-long research on the way designers connect, work, produce and sell. Each week, professionals visited the interns and spoke on this topic, exploring the ways in which designers disrupt the industry.
“I attended each event ready to learn, with a pen and sketchbook in hand. The guest lecturers, who worked at Gensler, greatly influenced my personal design philosophy,” Odom said.
“As a burgeoning designer, exposure is invaluable,” said Odom. “Gensler provided an immersive experience that allowed me to build relationships with both peers and professionals. Surrounding myself with talented students and accomplished designers not only opened doors but also inspired me to challenge my own understanding of design.
“Because of this experience, for which I am truly grateful, I feel better prepared to apply the skills I’ve developed while earning my professional degree.”
Odom added that her education acquired at UT prepared her well for her Chicago experience. “I felt ready,” she said.