I always knew we wouldn’t learn everything in school that an architect does in an office setting, but I didn’t realize how much. I started working as an intern at Eggemeyer Associates Architects June 2013, and it was the best learning experience I’ve had. I realized soon after I started that the real profession is nothing like school.
Going through school, you mainly focus on design and technical drawings. In an office you do some technical drawings and other paper work that’s not taught in school. The design work is, and should be done by someone with more experience. It makes me wonder why all schools focus so much on design when the first few years out of school you’ll do mainly everything but design, but that’s just my opinion. Anyway, I learned that there is a lot of paper work, little to none of which I learned in school. It took me multiple times of performing a task until I was able to complete it without questions, but I’m still far from being able to perfect it. This is why NCARB requires 5600 internship hours! It takes quite a bit of practice to learn how to do something perfectly. Even after working there over a year, I still don’t know how to do everything that’s done in an office.
I can’t mention all the ways in which my internship has helped me through school. The job taught me how real-life projects work between clients, contractors, and engineers. While working on projects I would start to think of issues that I normally didn’t think about before my internship. The benefit of working at the firm was that I could ask my coworkers questions about my projects and they would give me a professional answer. I’m not saying they did my work for me, but they gave me good advice that would make my project better.
It’s sad to say that less than a week ago I decided to quit my job there. It was honestly one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make. I enjoyed working there and it benefitted me in many ways. Trying to work two jobs and go to school was getting to be too much and I just couldn’t handle it anymore. If I could go back I would of applied for an internship my junior year or even earlier than that. What I learned was the earlier you can get experience in an office, the more it will help throughout school.