Bachelors in Architecture is a long creative process at the cost of five years, willingness to work hard and view things from a different perspective. During these five years, internship is also a precious memory and process of the course. It has become more like a career-defining process that aims at equipping architecture students to sharpen their skills and add professional work to their portfolio.
Internship being mandatory, it is also important to choose a firm fit for your interest and strengths. Here we will be discussing the major factors to consider while choosing a firm for your internship.
Geography, demography, scale, project portfolios, reviews and duration are the major factors to be looked upon.
Let's discuss each of these factors in detail:
Physical features like terrain, topography, climate, and associated strands are collectively termed as geography, and often, these shapes and constraints influence the design of the building. For any construction to go well and the building to perform well ( as in to meet the requirements and last long), it should be developed in accordance with the physical and social features. Thus, many Architects or Architecture firms specialize in the geography of the region that they are based on, which highly influences the project they pick out and the design they construct. Hence researching the geography of the area is very much important.
Classifying as urban, peri-urban, and rural is referred to as demography here.
Factors like population density, city composition, growth, movement, and social influences have a major role to play while practicing in firms of respective areas. So choosing a firm depending on the type of projects you want to work with and the area of experience you wish to bag in is extremely important, for which it demands decent research on the demography.
The size of the projects that a firm takes up is termed as scale. This is an important factor to be considered as it will reflect on your portfolio, in turn, defining the range of projects you have worked with. To maintain the portfolio's uniformity, decide on the scale you would like to pursue after the assigned years of the course. Different firms might take projects of different scale (large or small or something different). Another important point to note over here is that project type can be defined either as large scale or small scale depending on the structure's capacity.
4. Project Portfolio
While selecting a firm for your internship, it is equally important to check the respective firm's project portfolios. Therefore, you will get an idea of the range of the projects they work with and how it will benefit your practical exposure and your own portfolio.
To not land out in an undesirable environment and get stuck with the time period, it is crucial to check the firm's reviews through online mediums, past interns and someone associated with them. The reputation, work culture, and environment of the firm will definitely have an impact both academically and personally, so it's necessary to check the validity.
Duration differ from firm to firm. Some offer it for six months, and some even for a year. It is important to clear all the queries about duration and stipend in the interview so as to not face any jargon in the end.
From assisting on all aspects of architectural designs, from presentations for clients to working with the construction team, an internship is definitely an exposure to professional life and worth all the time. Make sure to do a good amount of research on the firm you wish to work with and cross-check your personal interests and motives.