Interning can be an intimidating but very rewarding experience. By interning for architects in Michigan you begin to learn the in’s and out’s of the architectural business. Through internships, you can learn a lot, not only about the profession but also about yourself. You can learn what your strengths and weaknesses are and improve on them. Learning early on what you personally need improvement on will better prepare you for when you graduate. Internships can determine the path of your career. Interning is an excellent way of networking in your field. It is important for students to learn how to balance their personal, social and work lives. Internships are also going to ease your transition from part time to full time.  When you start your first internship you are aware that you know very little about the field but your mentors have been in your place and are there to help you. It’s not a good idea to go into a work experience thinking you know everything. You may know some of what goes into the field but keeping an open mind when you being will make it easy for you to learn and for those to guide you. Without internships, you do not gain the real-life experience you need for after you graduate. The experiences you have throughout your internships help you elevate your education and apply real-life situations in your school work. What you experience during an internship vary from firm to firm. The focus, marketing, principals, experience and methods are not an exact science among firms. They each have their own ways of managing their practices successfully. It is up to you, as an intern, to chose the skills you find the most beneficial to use in your practice in the future.

Most architects in Michigan are looking for part-time help and are motivated to help young students succeed in their field. Most part-time work consists of drafting, scanning, product research, and observation. All tasks that can be used to ease you into real life architectural practice. In school students practice solutions for hypothetical situations. During your internships, you are applying your skills to provide design solutions in real life scenarios, developing these skills is going to help you progress in creative problem solving you can apply throughout the rest of your education and work experience.

Work for internships is typically bottom of the barrel type tasks. These are not the most desired tasks, however, it is still important to put forth the effort. Mundane tasks like grabbing a coffee can have its benefits. Ask questions, observe methods and keep an eye out for key information you can use in the future. Most architects in Michigan are busy driven people who cannot always afford to give you direction, so it is important for you, as an intern, to be motivated and able to give yourself direction and take initiative. You never know, these internships could possibly lead to your career at the firm. It is not uncommon for students to stay at an office for only the summer but it is also common for a student to return to the same business and ultimately be taken on full time.  It may be in the best interest of students to incorporate variety in their internships. Again, not all firms practice the same way. The more diverse your interning experiences become the more knowledge you gain on how to successfully manage a practice in the future.

Internships aren’t just busy work for students to take part it. The tasks you complete are used throughout your licensure. In order to become a licensed architect, you have to log a certain amount of AXP hours in your NCARB record. There are 6 different categories, 3,740 required hours, and a restrictive time period to document your time so it is critical to take advantage of your time at an office. Make sure that you are branching out and dipping your toes into all aspects of the company. Some areas may take longer to understand than others so scheduling your time wisely is helpful. The pressure from all of this can be intimidating but the AXP and NCARB programs are designed so that you are best suited for licensure after your schooling is complete. Becoming and practicing as a successful architect is a lot of hard work and the American Institute of Architects want you to be well prepared for it! The health safety and wealthfare are all architects in Michigan’s top priority and they want to make sure it’s yours too!

Finding architects in Michigan to commit the time you need isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Counselors at schools can provide the resources you need to find one that suits your best interests, networking, lunch and learns, or simply reaching out to local firms can get you to where you want to be. Don’t be afraid to reach out locally and offer some of your time. Not all internships are unpaid. Speaking with advisors at your school can help you land an internship that doesn’t require you to work for free! Along with getting paid, almost all programs require students to complete some form of an internship. Working in your preferred field, getting paid and accumulating college credits is a win-win. It’s never too early for a student to begin an internship. In fact, it may be more beneficial for some to intern somewhere before they begin school. This can prevent spending time and money on a profession you decide you don’t like once you begin the hands-on experience. The sooner you start the more skills you can apply throughout school. Keep in mind that some things just can’t be taught inside a classroom. Priceless knowledge can be gained through hands-on experience in an internship. Internships are important for when you actually go to apply for a job. Architects in Michigan are going to be looking at work experience relative to the field. Having work experience under your belt can prevent your resume from going straight into the trash. These experiences will catch the eyes of architects in Michigan and hopefully get your resume a second glance!