Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Taste of the Real World

By Brittney Mount

      During my final semester as an undergraduate student here at SIUC I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to obtain an internship at a local architecture firm, Eggemeyer and Associates, here in Carbondale. The opportunity arose through my studio professor at the time, Norm Lach, who confronted me about the opening for a possible externship position. I decided to jump on the chance to spend a week in an actual office, which I had been pining to do for years now. I had to go through the interview process, which I am so grateful for because that was an experience I had never been through. I found myself very comfortable during the interview, and I immediately loved the atmosphere of the firm and the employees reminded me of being back in studio. And an hour after my interview I got the call that they wanted to actually hire me part time instead of just for the single week externship.
      Even though I was a senior in the Architecture program, two months away from graduation to be exact, I felt like it was my first day of school when I stepped into the office for my first official day of work. I could not believe how little I felt I knew when I sat down. I was afraid to let my new boss down, my new co-workers down, or my school down if I didn’t know something. Thankfully I quickly learned that they didn’t expect me know everything, like I assumed they would. They were very effective in easing me into the way they did things around the office. The fact is, what I learned in my first week was incredible, applying what I had only talked about in class to a real life project was surreal, and I truly enjoyed working. The dream of enjoying what I was doing, and what a relief that was.
     Unfortunately, graduate school proved to be too much alongside my internship and I had to give it up. I will always be grateful for the seven months I spent at Eggemeyer, and everything that I learned from everyone that I had the opportunity to work with. I am confident that having those hours under my belt will make my remaining year of graduate school and the transition into the field of architecture much smoother. I sure do miss it like crazy though!

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