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What to Expect From an Internship in Architecture

Mon, Oct 11, 2010

Internship Uncategorized


Architecture is a pretty intense industry one might hope to break into, and when you’re finishing up your higher education, many individuals opt to get an internship in architecture to help make the transition between training and working a little less sudden. Indeed, an internship is a position that blends the two — often with very little pay, or college credit in lieu of any pay at all. What’s important about an internship, though, is that it’s a way to get part-time experience that nevertheless exposes to the industry in which you hope to work in a way that’s very hands-on and that you might not be able to receive otherwise. The internship is a great way to gather experience and put lines on a resume while you’re still busy being a full-time and before you have to spend all your time earning the money you’ll need to just to pay for your rent, groceries, and cell phone bill each month. Getting into the industry is tough without experience, and low-stakes experience isn’t something you can really afford when you’re trying to be self-sufficient.

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Conversely, an internship is a great way for an employer to find some low-cost labor, and perhaps get a new employee out of the deal. One of the biggest misconceptions about the internship is that it guarantees a position at whatever firm for which you work. Especially in architecture, the way to get yourself a job from an internship is to prove yourself invaluable. A lot can come of an internship, but only if you prove yourself. This is one of the toughest parts of the condition — you’ll be excited to be working amongst the people who do your dream job, but when you’re an intern, the work you do is often somewhat menial. It’s the stuff that has to be done, despite the fact that it’s necessary to the process. If you’re working as an architectural intern, you can be expecting to get a lot of coffee, as architects spend late night working in the studio.

You should also expect to get very familiar with drafting, and interacting with things like the various building codes and zoning laws that will apply in your area. These are a huge part of architecture, whether you work for Global Crane or run your own firm. Working as an architecture intern is a great way to get your foot in the door, but you’ve really got to show your worth in a serious way if you want to keep it there. With the right level of smarts and determination, you can turn an architecture internship into a great career, but you’ve got to be pretty hard-working to do so. Your architecture internship will be tough, but if you treat it with the respect it deserves, you’ll come out of it full of useful knowledge and ready to start a career pursuing your passion.

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