Meet Hannah, one of INVISION’s summer 2016 interns who was drawn to INVISION’s internship program and has enjoyed every second.
Read Hannah’s story below and then take a look at all Intern Spotlights to meet others with a unique experience.
Q: What was your favorite thing about your summer internship?
A: Working right here in downtown at a thriving firm with so much going on has been a dream come true for me. The variety of age groups has allowed me to learn from those with more experience while being able to connect with the younger staff. The site visits that I have been on have also been very riveting because the staff on those projects do such a great job giving tours and explaining what is going on with their project.
Q: How did you learn about INVISION and the internship opportunities available?
A: INVISION is a firm that stays in the sights of students all year round. They have a wonderful marketing staff here and they do a great job keeping up their website, advertising new positions well, attending career fairs, and interacting with students through events like their pizza and pong lunch during the AIA Convention. I had heard of quite a few of their projects and seen lots of outlets of theirs on social media. After seeing them at the career fair and hearing great things about the firm from classmates and professors of mine, I applied for a summer internship position.
Q: When did you decide on an internship at INVISION and when did you start?
A: After the career fair in February, I applied online and was asked to do an interview in March. I was offered the position and, after weighing out all of my different options for the summer, INVISION stood out as the exact experience I was looking for in an internship. I loved the idea of working at an award-winning workplace in the heart of downtown Des Moines, and I loved all of the work that I had seen of the firm’s, so of course I accepted. My internship began on May 25th and I have loved every second of it!
Q: What type of work and projects did you experience in your summer internship?
A: INVISION has a great variety of projects going on and that’s what I love about the working environment. I have worked on a gymnasium addition, which I have been able to be a part of throughout most of the process. That in itself is a great learning experience because I really have felt like a member of the project team. I have also designed a canopy for a hospital that I got to model from scratch with a few simple directions in measurements and form.
Q: What type of personal development opportunities did you experience during your summer internship?
A: This office is very open and I am always learning and given opportunities to go on site visits and be exposed to lots of activity. The lunch and learns from product representatives or best practices presentations have also been extremely educational. Being able to speak the language of architecture is so important. Exposure to conversations and seeing all of these real world processes around me has been so enriching to my personal development.
Q: How do you feel your internship compared to experiences you heard your peers talk about?
A: Every office is run differently and has a different dynamic, but INVISION seems to stand out by making their internship opportunities a real experience. When I came on the first day a plan was laid out, they seemed very ready for me and excited to have me on staff. What I love about INVISION is how they have made me really feel like part of the team and not “just an intern”. The biggest way that INVISION stands out from my previous internship experience is in the wide range of ages and projects here, which brings an array of experiences and perspectives that I have really enjoyed being a part of.
Q: What surprised you the most about your internship experience?
A: For me the biggest surprise in this experience has been the balance in the office between intense work and a little more relaxed conversation. The dynamics of an open office has been very enjoyable and educational for me. Another big surprise is the responsibilities that I have been given on projects. I have actually been able to get a touch on things and been welcomed to really contribute to the project instead of just assisting.
Q: What advice would you give to architecture students looking for an internship?
A: I am sure that architecture students have heard this so many times, but everything just comes down to a conversation. Of course your portfolio, work ethic and knowledge are extremely important, but don’t let nerves or intimidation keep you from what could become your career. Don’t be afraid to send emails inquiring about opportunities, talk to the firm’s partner at a career fair, or apply to every firm that you find exciting. There are so many opportunities out there and one of them could be the perfect one for you.
Q: How did you discover the architecture profession and why did you decide to study architecture?
A: Architecture has always fascinated me, even before I really even knew the definition of the word. Whenever anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said architect (just ask my elementary teachers). Growing up on a farm, I had opportunities to understand space on a wide range of scales, and that is most likely what started my fascination. Being in a space that evokes emotion, from feeling the nostalgia of an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere to being in awe of a sleek and modern skyscraper in a thriving city, is what I hope to create for others someday. Throughout school, I always loved to be creative and had a knack for technology that I found would be useful in the profession. Lastly, the fact that there was an established and awarded architecture program in my home state also helped in making my decision to study architecture a simple one.