Brady saw an opportunity to experience a firm from a different angle, giving her valuable experience as a freshman.
Read Brady’s story below and then take a look at all Intern Spotlights to meet others with a unique experience.
Q: How did you discover the architecture profession and why did you decide to study architecture?
A: When I was younger, I glued together a bunch of shoe boxes to make a house for one of my dolls. While initially focusing on my doll, I soon forgot about her and became intent on making the perfect floor plan to my dream house. I started out with 3 or 4 boxes (the first floor) and later added a basement and deck. It was extremely detailed- pictures of my family and I on the walls, drawers of dressers that actually held small objects, and tissues that came out of the box. I have always loved hands-on projects like that. Also, a friend of mine’s dad is an architect, and I remember looking at the plans he was designing for their house. After talking to him and touring the architecture schools to see all the models on display, I decided architecture was for me!
Q: How did you learn about INVISION and the internship opportunities available?
A: After my first year of college I was going to live at home in Cedar Falls for the summer. When looking for a job, I contacted INVISION to see if they had anything I could help them with. I was looking for anything to get my foot in the door! They offered me a position helping the administrative team with back-office support.
Q: What type of work and projects did you experience in your summer internship?
A: This summer I worked on all kinds of things. I sorted and organized files and drawings, worked on various marketing tasks, and helped with a few current projects. One of my favorite things was working with the other interns to create a full-scale mock exam room out of cardboard for a client. We made the room itself, the hallway and part of a room outside of it, the receptionist desk, casework, tables, and an exam table. It was a lot of fun and the client loved it!
Q: What type of personal development opportunities did you experience during your summer internship?
A: I learned so much—even if I was in the back room sorting files it was still beneficial in learning about the process of a project. I got to work with many phases, sorting everything from proposals to final paperwork. I think understanding background information like this is extremely important and often something not taught until the later years of schooling. I sat in on a few meetings which is also beneficial in learning about the design and construction process. More importantly, it taught me about the client-architect relationship.
Q: What was your favorite thing about your summer internship?
A: I really liked observing the various projects everyone is working on. Whether it was sitting in on a meeting or just looking at drawings at the center tables, it was really cool to see many buildings I recognized in the Cedar Valley and surrounding area. Being from Cedar Falls, I realized there are a lot of buildings that I have driven by nearly every day that INVISION has worked on or is working on. It was neat to see those details and learn more about the buildings. I also really loved learning more about buildings that I have experienced many times, like the Cedar Falls High School or Recreation Center.
Q: What stood out to you the most about your internship experience?
A: What stood out to me most was the staff. They are all fun to work with and make work enjoyable. Having only finished one year of school, they were all very understanding and helpful in describing to me what we were doing, why, how, etc. They answered any question I had, and were great in letting me tag along to various meetings. I was treated like part of the “family,” instead of just an intern. They all truly made my experience great!