5 Tips On How To Get An Architecture Internship

Sara Mandeed
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How To Get An Architecture Internship

Did you know that Eero Saarinen, Louis Kahn, and Robert Venturi all got started in architecture by working as interns? Fact.

But everyone isn’t a Saarinen, Kahn, or Venturi. Most of us need to start from the bottom and work for free. Luckily, there are lots of these opportunities, but here are the general requirements and a few helpful tips on how to get an architecture internship.

Get yourself in a position to apply.

Start your architecture education as early as possible. If you already haven’t, start now. There are currently more than 700 accredited academic institutions in the USA with architectural programs.

Usually, you need a bachelor’s degree (usually within five years) to have the opportunity to apply for an internship. You can, of course, also apply to one after you’ve finished your internship, but you will likely need at least two years as an intern so that you have a good understanding of what it’s like to work in the field.

There are also many online degrees that can lead to an architecture internship.

Get yourself noticed.

Create A Brag Sheet

Much like applying for internships at your dream company, you should create a “Brag Sheet.” Whether you are applying for internships at different companies or different career paths, you need to show off your skills and experience and how it makes you the perfect candidate for the job. Start by reviewing your resume to pull out all of your impressive achievements and put them on this impressive list. Customize it as much as you want, but make sure to include your core competencies and all of the skills that you gained from prior internships. You also want to be sure to include any leadership positions that you held and extracurriculars that you participated in during college.

This brag sheet is just for you to see so don’t be afraid to put down absolutely everything you can come up with:

This is your chance to show your internship employer that you are not only qualified for the job but that you are the best candidate they can possibly choose.

Contact Your Network

The best place to start is with your network. Talk to classmates, professors, and most importantly, people in your field. What do you know about other companies, regardless of whether or not they hire interns? Find out how to contact them and who to speak to.

You might try something like this:

I am a third-year architecture student at USC. I am trying to find an internship in the Los Angeles area this summer. I am particularly interested in working in a sustainable design office, ideally with X, Y, or Z in mind. Does your company happen to know of any opportunities?”

Research

The first thing you’ll need to do is take a good look at the industries you’d like to work in. Start by researching architecture firms within your local area. Take note of the names, websites, and physical addresses. Next, you’ll need to do a little bit of research on the employers you’ve chosen. Try to learn about the culture at those companies, as well listen to their employees talk about their experiences there.

After you’ve gathered information about each company, compile a list of their employees by name. If you can, find out their titles and contact information.

Next, develop a resume (in a format that’s easy to read, such as a list or bullet points) to submit electronically to the company. You’ll want to ensure that you highlight your skills or experience (that you mention in the cover letter) in a way that shows the employer why you’re a good fit for the position.

Topics include:

What Is Architecture?

Getting More out of Your Internship

What is Architecture?

The word ‘architecture’ comes from the Greek word ‘taedÅ�’ meaning ‘skilled worker’ or ‘craftsman’. You guessed it, architects are the craftsmen and women of the building industry.

However, the meaning of the word architecture has come to represent much more, of course; architecture is an art and a science that strives to create functional, aesthetically pleasing buildings that enrich people’s lives, and it can do this in a variety of ways.

An architect may create an architecturally magnificent building with cutting-edge technology that integrates seamlessly with the architecture and luxuriously appointed for its occupants. Or they may create functional practical buildings out of affordable materials that are eco-friendly and will stand for decades.

Ultimately, the word architecture encompasses both for this reason; it is both art and science.

Targeted Approach

An internship is a unique opportunity to engage with a studio environment, network with professionals, and get a taste of what it’s like to work in the field. ,Working for an architect, at a firm is a great way to learn about architecture without having to make any long-term commitments.

To make sure you are a good candidate for the job, you must take into consideration following points:

One of the biggest mistakes students make is applying to internships they aren’t truly interested in. Therefore, you’d first have to assess your interest in the architectural field. If you’ve always wanted to get a degree in architecture, it’s a good idea to stick to the architecture firms. However, it’s still recommended that you apply to some other firms as well to increase your chances of getting an internship.

Next, based on your interest and shortlisted companies, you’d have to research the firms and try to understand their work and previous interns. Based on the type of firm, you’d have to make sure that you research about the kind of work an architectural firm would have. Depending on the type of project, you’d have to make sure you have specialized knowledge and experience in that particular area.

Be Persistent

Networking is important for certain careers. It’s a requirement in a lot of sales jobs. But architecture doesn’t require networking for entry-level positions, yet it’s still a good idea to network if you can. Look for networking opportunities, and get personal introductions to people who can help you toward your goal of finding an internship. At the same time, don’t wait around for opportunities. Follow up, and follow through.

Sources to network from the architecture profession are often helpful. It’s a good idea to join student chapters of AIA (American Institute of Architects), and to join local and other state chapters of AIA. Junior high and high school students may also join.

There are job fairs, and career fairs at your school and at the job fairs of other schools. Contact other students and professors to find out if there will be a career fair near you.

They may know other universities or architecture firms that are interested in hiring interns. Ask your professors for advice on what you can do to get your foot in the door at their firms or what qualities they look for in their interns.