Our People | BRIC Internship Series

Finding the Balance: Reflecting on our 2021 Intern Program Experience

| Ed Herrera

Autumn brings the return of crisp air, color-changing leaves, back to school for students, and the conclusion of our 2021 intern program. Where did the summer go?! We had monumental goals and objectives for this year’s intern program grounded by providing a very high level of engagement and support for our interns. As expected, we experienced both successes and challenges in achieving what we pursued. Our intern advocacy group met recently to reflect on big takeaways from this year’s experience and working with a wonderful intern cohort.

Finding the Balance: Reflecting on our 2021 Intern Program Experience

Overall, our program this year provided successful opportunities for learning and discovery, both for our interns as well as ourselves:

We connected our interns with a wide range of people and project phases, helping us reveal the broader context of our work—and engaging interns with aspects beyond design and architecture.

This year’s interns were also able to experience more site visits than any of our past intern cohorts. This hands-on experience, including attending site visits, participating in the punchlist process, and supporting project photography sessions, provided opportunities to understand how ideas become reality, how we ensure compliance with design intent, and how we document our work. These in person activities also provided opportunities for follow-up conversations that helped to add meaning to the experiences.

Another successful takeaway relates to our structure of the program. This includes how our intern advocacy group worked and communicated with one another in the selection process and during our time with the interns. We focused on identifying clear objectives for our program and for this summer then worked collaboratively to engage others in the firm with the goal of identifying and linking together meaningful and related experiences.

We are so pleased with who we selected to join us this summer. Bethany, Lucero, and Ana each brought their unique perspectives and interests to BRIC, and they helped to advance both firm initiatives and current projects. Based on the results of this summer, we are confident that we have shifted the focus in the right direction to create a program which values our interns’ development while reflecting BRIC’s values. After a busy summer, we’re continuing to review our interns’ experiences with the goal of refining our program to better support students in navigating their path in architecture.

BRIC office in Portland, OR

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