REFLECTIONS ON MY INTERNSHIP
BY MICHELLE JONES
“So Michelle, what do you think should change about the presentation?”
It was my first day, first hour of work actually, as I sat through a practice for a client presentation later that week. Fumbling through, I managed to give a one or two suggestions, but nothing that was revolutionary. Nevertheless, it was clear even then that my input was valued and my time at Labarre would not be without a few valuable lessons!
Everyone in the office was so quick to help me grow as an employee by helping me develop and grow my own talents. Upon arriving, I quickly became involved with Pointe of Isle, an upcoming development in Maurepas, Louisiana. My first assignment on the project was to design a series of New Orleans-inspired shotgun houses. Since I grew up in Louisiana, this residence style is very familiar to me, but I had no idea how to begin designing one! I knew even less about what codes and regulations must be followed to make it buildable. But anytime I had questions, they guided me through the related resources as I gained knowledge and expertise applicable to any project.
One of my favorite things this summer has been the many research and planning projects. Working directly with the Architecture and Real Estate divisions, I have been able to be a part of integral research time. The experience has given me perspective on how seemingly simple issues, such as proper siting and financial estimates alone, can set up a project for success throughout the whole process. I have had the opportunity to develop feasibility studies and complete site research, programming, and test fits. I learned so much everyday of what it means to work with the mindset of “getting it right” on the front-end to anticipate future issues.
Contrary to popular belief, architecture work is not all models and construction documents; a lot of work is accomplished by simply mingling in the professional world. I was able attended several Lunch and Learns, seminars, and company lunches. I have found that sharing stories about crazy clients and awkward site visits is a fundamental part of any industry! Indeed, my summer at Labarre has been so enjoyable and has opened me to understand the centrality of hard, but thoughtful, work. Architecture cannot be about checklists, but instead it must be about using smart processes to serve people.
AND FROM US AT LABARRE:
Thank you for working with us this summer, Michelle. We loved having you.