A Day in the Life: Student Intern Architects

While TURNERBATSON’s fall intern, Maggie Wohltjen, completes her internship and prepares for her last semester at Auburn University’s Urban Studio, she took the time to sit down with our team to share what a day in the life of a student intern architect really looks like:

1. Explain the day in the life of a student intern architect.

For the most part, my time is spent doing tasks for any project team that needs a little extra help. This makes each work day feel like new, as you never know for sure who you’ll be working with or what project you’ll be developing at any given time.

2. Is this internship what you thought it would be?

I was actually pleasantly surprised. I was not anticipating the variety of work that I would get to be involved with. TURNERBATSON has been intentional to encourage me to attend meetings with contractors and consultants, visit job sites, and gain credit toward my required licensing hours.

3. If you could give students a piece of advice as they prepare for internships, what would that be?

It’s all about your attitude. The spirit of TURNERBATSON is so collaborative and helpful. My favorite experience has been meeting all the people here.

A lot of people come in thinking that the internship is going to be a certain way, but it is what you make of it. Having a good attitude, paying attention, and building relationships will allow you to learn so much and get the most out of the internship. Just remember — you may be the least experienced, but your work is still important!

4. What is the best piece of advice you’ve gained from a mentor in architecture?

As an architect, you will encounter new problems, issues and obstacles each day — embracing and solving these problems creatively is what designing is all about.

5. Why are student internships important?

I see internships as the only way for students to learn the nuts and bolts of being a designer and creative thinker. They are critical in gaining hands-on experience outside of the classroom and in understanding the process of how a 2D drawing becomes a built space.

6. What is the most important thing that you have learned throughout your internships?

 Ask questions — they open dialogue and make you dig deeper for the answers. In the end, you learn more!

7. Tell us a little known fact about architecture:

Some people probably don’t realize how collaborative architecture is. While working at a firm, there is no such thing as an “individual project.” You constantly work with other designers, contractors, builders, and consultants during every project.

8. Tell us what you find humor in during your day:

People at TURNERBATSON have such quirky and idiosyncratic personalities. It makes working here a lot of fun. Hal’s birthday singing, Michael M. talking about the absurdities of construction, Dave and Eric making jokes at each Monday morning meeting, and the TURNERBATSON family struggling with their rendition of Secret Santa at Christmastime have been some of the funniest moments.

Melissa Stewart, Marketing Coordinator

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