KTGY Architecture + Planning recently completed its first virtual summer internship program. The format provided interns with the opportunity to spend six weeks virtually “side-by-side” with KTGY’s principals and key leaders as well as meet other interns from various schools nationwide. This year’s summer interns included a total of 16 college students, representing 11 different schools across nine states.
The 28th summer internship program that KTGY has coordinated was announced earlier this year on LinkedIn by CEO, Tricia Esser, who noted, “We were actively interviewing candidates for our 2020 summer internship program when stay-at-home orders were issued, and everything needed to pause. Since then, we’ve committed to finding a way to provide a program that would not only work within the CDC guidelines but would also be enriching, motivating, informative and fun.”
“I loved how invested KTGY is with this internship program and it was amazing to be able to interact and learn from so many practicing architects,” KTGY intern associate Joshua Bolan said. “I am incredibly grateful to KTGY for seeing the importance of continuing their internship program and giving me this opportunity. A few months ago, I was extremely confused about my future, especially in the profession. This internship has helped me set a path and it was an experience I will never forget.”
KTGY’s new virtual, paid internship program covered a wide variety of topics related to business, design and studio life, and concluded with a design challenge that asked the question, “How can architecture heal?” Some of the topics included: Planning 101; affordable housing; residential design; how to design for the future; construction innovation; tools of the trade; email etiquette; Legal 101; Marketing 101 and selling your idea with diplomacy.
“It’s clear that KTGY structures their internship to maximize an intern’s exposure to multiple facets of the profession (business, design, office culture, etc.), and even in a virtual setting, the program was successful in giving us a holistic look at architecture outside of what we’re taught in school,” said John Perez, intern associate.
Each intern had one-on-one time with a KTGY mentor to discuss the intern’s goals and desired career path. Other sessions included an opportunity to virtually meet KTGY’s board of directors and key leaders and ask questions, listen to panel discussions and learn about KTGY’s culture and studio life.
“This is my first time doing a virtual internship and I learned a lot about this company and how an architecture firm actually works,” said Ferdinem Bartolon, intern associate. “I really enjoyed this experience and I am amazed how you guys pulled this off in a short amount of time.”
Interns also got to see KTGY’s latest R+D concepts and learn about the company’s pledge to the American Institute of Architects’ 2030 Commitment. There was also a deep dive into what it takes to get licensed as an architect through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Interns were also given many assignments over the six weeks including an R+D concept assignment and presentation, creating a video journal, and presenting their design interpretation of how architecture can heal.
“In 2020, we are confronting a series of urgent issues at the forefront of our communities: social injustice, a global pandemic and the climate crisis,” said Sarah Sindian, AIA, NCARB, associate principal at KTGY. “Our roles as architects is to responsibly shape the vision for the future of the built environment. Using design as a tool that shapes the spaces in creating our communities, architecture can heal that which divides and disheartens us. This was a great opportunity for the interns to share new ideas and think outside the box.”
The students raved about the program and appreciated that the internship featured opportunities to learn different components of the business that were not typical of summer internships as well as “meet” with KTGY’s board of directors, principals, key leaders, mentors and fellow interns.