Midcentury modification: Day one as an architecture intern

Midcentury modification: Day one as an architecture intern

This week, the Ann Richards School will be totally void of juniors. Every member of the class of 2016 will spend a whole week off campus interning at various Austin sites relating to their pathways. Learn more as Engineering student Meredith Oldham covers her first day on the job at an architecture firm.  

Today was my first day as an architecture intern with Gensler, the world’s number one architecture firm.

Sound scary? Yeah, I felt the same way. With little (ahem, zero) background in architecture other than dabbling in Google SketchUp sophomore year, I dove headfirst into my internship with Gensler.

After arriving at the swanky W Hotel, I took the elevator to the third floor where I was greeted by glass doors, spotless white walls, and a conference room jutting out over downtown. A receptionist instructed me to sit in a cushy green chair facing downtown Austin, where I awaited Emma (my ARS intern coworker) and an introduction by a real architect. I was a bundle of nerves: I knew nothing about architecture. What if someone asked to see my non-existent portfolio? However, my nerves were quickly slashed as Emma and I sat in on “the Monday-morning Meeting,” where one employee shared stories from his visit in Taiwan. (Gensler is working on a Buddhist monastery.)

We were then whisked away to tour the office and meet fifty plus employees in all different departments– marketing, interior design, and architecture. All were very kind and welcoming, and seemed impressed that we were only high schoolers. We also participated in orientation with another woman who was starting her first day at the company and we were all introduced to who Gensler is and what they do.

I’m not sure how much we can say about what we did with Gensler (they were hesitant to even give us certain plans/pamphlets for confidentiality reasons), but I think I can say we worked on a downtown urban planning project as well as an interior design fabric sample classification project. (I much preferred the urban planning)

We then went out to lunch with three architects who were very interested in asking us about “today’s youth culture” over sushi.

When Emma and I started packing up at 5:30 I was amazed at how many people were still there hard at work. The architecture field definitely seems like a demanding one, as most were there working before we arrived at 9AM, and still after we left at 5:30PM. Although the day was exciting, I definitely felt tired by the end of it and was ready to go home. However, I’m looking forward to tomorrow and the “field trip” we’ll be taking as we venture into the world of architecture and design.

image source