Learning by Doing: An Intern View

When I started graduate school, almost a year ago, I assumed that changing careers and having no experience meant that I would be stuck twiddling my thumbs for the first one or two summers while “learning” how to be an architect in school. After my experience at BWBR, I can safely say that I have learned more about the profession in the last 10 weeks than I did during the first year of school.

I always had a cautious skepticism about not having to worry about budgets or constructability in school. No doubt, the lessons learned when granted that freedom teach some great lessons, but working here has seen my suspicions confirmed.

There are very few clients, indeed, who come to you and say, “We don’t care what you spend, nor do we care how well it’s put together, just make something cool,” but being here has also proven to me that inspiring architecture and realistic architecture don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

The site visits especially brought to light the substantial impact that our work has on the lives of the clients and (in the case of health care) their patients.

I admire everyone that I’ve had the chance to work with in this short time, and only wish that I’d gotten the chance to work closely with more. The people and culture at BWBR are without a doubt better than any I have worked at before. My advice for anyone new to BWBR (student or otherwise) would be to make an active effort to work with as many different people as possible. There is a lot of knowledge spread throughout the company and the best way to get some of the expertise is to work with someone.

As far as advice specific to student interns, my biggest suggestions would say not to be afraid to give it a go. There is so much to learn here that there’s no way you can do everything and stay in your comfort zone. Trust that your teammates and the review process will ensure that any mistakes you might make won’t be harmful.

Finally, I would just like to give one final “thank you” to everyone that I worked with for making this such a great experience. I hope I’ve repaid even a fraction of the trust you placed in me. I’m excited to see what successes BWBR will have in the future and to check in on some of the projects I’ve worked on as they progress.