Intern name: Mitch Lampe
Year: Senior, 2016
Major: Environmental Studies
Title: Architectural Intern
Place of internship: DLR Group (Omaha)
How did you find out about the internship and what was the application process like?
I researched online for architecture firm internships around the Midwest. This process led to a few interviews, but ultimately did not present me with enough opportunities. I then got in contact with a St. John’s alum who works in Omaha and he gave me a few suggestions of local firms that hire summer interns. I contacted the firm using their website and was then asked to send my resume and references. I was not able to meet in person but my phone interview was sufficient enough to be hired.
What were some of the internship highlights?
One of the biggest highlights of my internship was actually one of my first projects. I was tasked with designing an office space that satisfied the client’s needs for a more efficient work environment. I was given a list of spaces that needed to fit into a determined building size such as conference rooms, work spaces, kitchens, and other commercial necessities.
What was a typical day like?
What were some of your major responsibilities? My biggest responsibility was an Omaha Public School Assessment project. For this project, I developed a template that would be used to assess the interior and exterior of 62 schools. The template included over 100 different assessment pieces and quantified the priority level and repair level of every assessed item. After including all of the schools’ names and addresses, the templates were uploaded to an online site for partnering companies to use in the assessment process. On a typical day, I visited schools with the company of a licensed architect and rated and photographed the entire interior and exterior of the building. Once the assessments were done, I was also in charge of including photos in the final assessment document as well as totaling the costs of separate building sectors.
What were some of the challenges of your internship?
Being in charge of the paperwork and documentation of 62 buildings was a daunting task. The assessment numbers could not be mixed up otherwise cost estimates of different buildings could be drastically off. It was also difficult working with other companies to send in assessment reports on time. Often times, I needed to contact a company multiple times a week to get a response.
What did you learn?
The amount of knowledge and experience I gained with my internship at the DLR Group would cover too many pages for this bio. Ultimately, one of the biggest things I learned was that classes at any institution cannot prepare you for the work and knowledge gained at an internship. Each work place is different in its own success, whether that be in communication, finance, or work ethic. I also learned that as an intern, you are not limited to menial tasks. Supervisors want you to take initiative and present new ideas.
What advice would you give other students interested in internships?
During an internship, expand your knowledge and horizons. Try to experience everything your company, firm, or institution offers. This is the time to gain experience outside of the classroom that will ultimately be a more important factor for future jobs and careers.