Kendra Koch explains how her internship at INVISION offered something different than past experiences.

Read Kendra’s story below and then take a look at all Intern Spotlights to meet others with a unique experience.

Q: What surprised you the most about your internship experience?

A: Coming from a previous architectural internship, I was surprised by how different the atmosphere and architectural processes were between the two offices. I was surprised, but loved the fact that even the newest, youngest people at the office seemed to already have been given leadership opportunities and have their hands full with a couple projects. It was also great to see and even be a part of projects that were created through efficiency and team-based efforts, and also just to be around people who were truly passionate about what they are doing!


Q: What was your favorite thing about your summer internship?

A: One of my favorite things about my summer internship with INVISION was the atmosphere of the office. The office is fun and everyone there is very friendly, patient and took my short-term employment seriously in that they were always willing to take time to explain the firm’s ideology and the world of architecture in general.


Q: How did you discover the architecture profession and why did you decide to study architecture?

A: I can remember wanting to be an architect ever since I was pretty young (about 11 or so). I’ve always found enjoyment out of creating things with my own hands, drawing and problem solving. I believe my dad first mentioned the profession to me, but it wasn’t until after a lady from an architecture firm in the Des Moines area came to my high school to talk about women in the architectural profession and I visited the ISU College of Design that I became dedicated to actually pursuing it as a career.


Q: How did you learn about INVISION and the internship opportunities available?

A: I first learned about INVISION at the student lunch the Des Moines office held after the AIA convention. I spoke with a few of the members of the firm there and was intrigued by the energetic atmosphere of the office. I then decided to learn a little more about their firm and current internships by talking to Kate Payne at the career fair held in the spring semester.


Q: What type of work and projects did you experience in your summer internship?

A: I was very pleased during my summer internship at INVISION to have gotten to experience many different phases of many different projects. I attended progress meetings, site visits and field verification trips. When in the office, I got to work on record documents and schematic design drawings. I also built a full-scale model of a hospital exam room.


Q: What type of personal development opportunities did you experience during your summer internship?

A: During my summer internship I was able to better understand the process and communication between client, architect and contractor, some of the difficulties that can arise, and how they can be addressed. It was good for me to experience this and get a better understanding of some of the pieces that make a firm successful. Also, as someone coming in with only a little Revit experience, I was able to further develop my understanding of the program and how it is used in the firm.


Q: How do you feel your internship compared to experiences you heard your peers talk about?

A: Compared to peers’ experiences and even my own past internship experience, I feel this internship allowed me to experience the MANY different parts of the architectural process. I worked on and learned something new about the profession or the firm at least every week.


Q: Where did your summer internship experience lead you to next?

A: Following my summer internship I’ll be finishing my last year of school at Iowa State University where I’m studying Architecture, Environmental Studies and Sustainability. I’m not really sure where I’ll be after that last year of college, but INVISION has inspired me to really start searching for my passion in architecture. So for the next couple years I plan on focusing on getting licensed after school and searching for ways to merge my passions of architecture, agriculture and sustainability and let that lead me to the next stages of my life.


Q: What advice would you give to architecture students looking for an internship?

A: Do your research and figure out what kind of architectural direction you actually want to head in and find a firm that fits that. Get an internship to learn more about the process of architecture, but also to learn about how you see yourself fitting into the profession.