In the early 1970's, the School of Architecture developed the Internship Program which is open to qualified students during their fourth year of undergraduate studies. The intent of the Internship Program, offered to academically qualified students wanting a combination of a professional and academic experience to complement the design education they receive in the studios. The design core is strengthened by course work in architectural drawing, working drawings, environmental controls, structures, history, preservation and art. The School of Architecture is selective, choosing students on the basis of their academic achievement, interest and potential in the field of architecture.
Through the program, we expect our students to be exposed to the entire spectrum of
the architectural profession: observing how projects are obtained, designed, and developed;
production drawings made, specifications written, and on-site inspections are carried
out. We trust that the internship experience will expose our students to the firm’s
organization, its checks and balances, operating costs, design control, production,
and completion of the project. Further and when feasible, that the student-intern
may be permitted to “sit-in” on conferences between architects and clients as well
as contractors and subcontractors to gain a broader understanding of the total scope
of the architectural profession. It is anticipated that the student-intern will be
assigned to various projects that vary in size, type, and responsibility. Where practicable,
the student-intern should be involved in programming, schematics, preliminary design,
design development, and cost breakdown, the bidding procedure and construction administration.
The student-intern is expected to be a productive member of the firm during the period
of employment and thus benefit from the opportunity of working in an environment different
from the academic experience, and gain professional experience.
Though perhaps not as glamorous as the foreign studies program and less “public service” oriented than the Community Development Center, the internship program has a lot going for it! Some of the benefits include:
- making money,
- working in a ‘real’ firm with professionals
- being asked to return to a firm upon graduation,
- being able to list ‘architectural work’ experience on your resume,
- coming face to face with reality of the work force,
- learning to work for and with others,
- experiencing the location – living on your own
- realizing your strengths and weaknesses
- working for people who really need you
What does an employer look for in an Intern?
- A passion for Architecture
- An excitement about his/her first professional experience
- A willingness to learn and question
- An intelligent person looking to be challenged
- A willingness to take on a variety of tasks throughout the internship period
- A team player
- Skills: design ability, graphic skills – both free hand and computer, model building, familiarity with
- architecture related computer programs, i.e., AutoCad, Auto Desk, Photoshop, Excel, Rhino, good verbal
- and writing skills, CNC machine experience, etc.
- An expectation of a base level of competence and productivity in the tasks an intern completes
What does the employer have to offer?
- Exposure to the practice of architecture
- Teaching and mentoring the intern through a variety of work related tasks following IDP categories
- In-house instructional programs and seminar programs
- Basic understanding of how an office practices architecture; office organization, who are the clientele, who
- produces the work and how, office communications, client presentations, consultant involvement, support staff
- contribution, agency preparation and reviews, construction process exposure
- Exposure to a variety of projects in different phases of development
As for the program process, we suggest that it begins with the student requesting enrollment in the program. Securing an internship position in a firm is the responsibility of the student. We widely broadcast the availability of internship positions in the community as we receive them from firms. Prior to starting the internship, the students and their supervisors in the firms complete a signed agreement describing the position and outlining the student-intern’s responsibilities. The only other request the School of Architecture makes of the participating firms is that they provide us with two evaluations of the student-intern; one during the second month of the program and the other toward the end of the tenure of the student-intern with the firm. An evaluation form to be used in these reviews is provided to the supervisor.