Generally, Architect Majors will seek out an internship during their Junior or Senior year of college. Perhaps even after they attain their degree they will begin to search for a firm. However, I was hungrier for more than just going to college right out of high school. My search began to find a firm who would bring on a high school graduate to intern for them.
I have acquired a humble portfolio throughout Highschool and I gave it out to any firm that would take it. Most of them did not look at it and those who did told me to re-apply after a few years of college. This continued for about two months, until I met Michael Gooden. I was introduced to Michael one day in class by my English teacher, Matt Clarke, when working on a research paper. To spare you the details, by the end of that hour and a half class period, both my portfolio and resume were sent off to M Gooden Design and I was called in for an interview. Finally, someone was giving me a chance.
After the interview and the last month or so of Senior year, I began to intern under Michael Gooden and Kevan Russell at M Gooden Design located in Deep Ellum. Right away I began to work on projects. I was assigned smaller tasks at first to ease me into this new enchanting world. I drew elements in Sketchup and created viewports in Auto CAD for various drawing sets. I was also given the “stereotypical” intern jobs, such as watering the plants, making copies of plans, and organizing the materials library. Then there were your not so stereotypical intern projects, such as refinishing the roof deck staircase and helping create a workstation for interns. All of these tasks set me up with a strong base knowledge that helped me understand what it really takes to be an architect.
I got to visit a couple of the firm’s projects that were under construction. The sites I visited were in different phases of construction. The project I spent the most time at was the Taula House. In visiting, Taula came a new understanding of how important it is to notice every detail in a build. Suddenly, the plans that I had studied and reviewed came to life as I did my first walkthrough of this massive house. I was tasked to work with Michael on putting together a furniture package for our clients who commissioned the Taula House. I quickly had to learn different brands of furniture and how to maneuver my way around with sales reps to figure out pricing.
By far this internship confirmed that becoming an architect is what I want. Working with Michael and Kevan over the summer taught me so much about what it is like to design and build projects, work with sales reps and clients, and how to maneuver the work sites and discuss the build with the contractor. This experience has given me a leg up among my peers in determining if architecture is for me.
Ryan Scott is a student at the University of Texas at Arlington. He also volunteers as a Teacher’s Assistant at the Gilbreath-Reed Career and Technology Center, helping high school students to fall in love with the art of Architecture.