December 19, 2019
What is the best advice you received?
The best advice I received from one of my coworkers was that I should say my opinions out loud – and not to be afraid to think. It might sound like a cliché but in the beginning of the internship everything is a bit intimidating. The higher-ups seem like unreachable authorities and you often find yourself blindly following orders, not understanding what is going on. If no one asks, it can be nerve-wracking to share your opinion as an intern – but as I became friends with my coworkers, that dissipated. It is good to double check things, speak up, ask for clarification and contribute to the discussions. You might be surprised how much people appreciate hearing your opinion. It helps you learn and grow to participate in design decision making.
What is your favorite part of the job?
In the beginning I was often jumping around between projects, not knowing what they were about and only helping with small parts. After couple of weeks I was assigned to a project that I continued working on for the rest of my internship. I think it is worth mentioning that by working with one team consistently in pursuit of a common design made me feel very included. I am very glad to have contributed to the project and seeing it progress as we worked together – it was one of my favorite feelings.
What is a notable challenge you faced, and how did you overcome it?
There were multiple challenges I faced with this internship, such as living in a new environment and getting to experience a different way of life across the “pond” (where imperial system rules all.) However, I must admit, the welcoming atmosphere at TRIA made the process of settling down much easier. I had never worked in such a large office, and I appreciated that there was always something to do, whether it was the lunch and learns, or the various events TRIA hosted. I think the biggest challenge for me was to level up my Revit skills, in addition to understanding the professional architectural terminology. Even though I don’t have any problem on a communications level, some terminology regarding our profession can be tricky if you’ve never used it before. But what I liked about TRIA is that an answer is only one question away and everyone is willing to help.
Has working at TRIA changed your opinion of your field of study? How?
I’ve never worked in a company that specialized in a specific type of project. But from this experience it became clear that architects hold a lot more responsibility than just the initial sketch of a design. In school, they talk about the profession almost philosophically, as though the design is paramount and a direct path to a Pritzker prize – but in reality you have to go through the steps and work to actualize your idea. There are a lot of different components and I learned that opportunities with this profession are endless. There isn’t only one way to go.
What do you wish you had more exposure to during your time here?
From the beginning of my internship I really wanted to go out to a site visit and see the progress of a project. That only happened once during my stay here and that was probably the only thing I wish I had a chance to experience more often. That one time I went to the project site I learned so much and I really believe that if I had a chance to visit the site I was working on for two months, it would have helped me understand the project more. It helps illustrate our design when you see it in person versus just on a piece of paper.
What is your fondest TRIA-related memory?
One of my fondest memories of TRIA would be the night out at the IIDA Fashion Show. I loved seeing the team enjoying each other’s company outside of the office and work on something that unites them even more. Because the fashion show wasn’t only one night, it followed many evenings of hard work on costumes and time spent together. But TRIA offered events and opportunities throughout the whole year that made getting to know your coworkers much easier. I loved spending time with my colleagues at Lunch and Learns, the Thanksgiving lunch, volunteering for Christmas decorating the Italian Home for Children, and the TRIA holiday party.