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College of Design

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Out of the Classroom Experience

Happy break, readers!

I'm down to three weeks until I leave for my semester abroad in Copenhagen. It is still surreal, but I am incredibly excited. As things are winding down, I've had to part ways with my first studio desk, and have my last day at my architecture internship.

I started at mattson|schuster last December and have worked there as the Architect Intern the past two semesters as well as throughout this past summer. mattson|schuster is a small, residential remodelling company with an office in Excelsior. Being that the company is quite small, I was able to get very hands-on experience. The designs were done between my boss and I, and as I continued to get more experience, I got even more freedom with the designs. As with any job, I learned so much when I first started -- codes, sizing, foundations, pricing.

What was really great about this internship is that I continued to learn throughout my time there. In the remodelling field, every home you visit is different. Customers desire different changes to their home, and each house has a pre-existing challenge that we either need to fix, or work around. That is one of my favorite parts about being in the remodelling business rather than new build; each project has to be different, because the existing structures are never the same. Below is a picture with everyone at mattson|schuster enjoying lunch on my last day! Check out some of the work from mattson|schuster here.

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I have a very strong belief that internships are absolutely necessary to pair with one's education. This opportunity provided me with skills and knowledge that some of my peers don't currently have. Everything is not taught through coursework, and therefore, first hand experience is exceptionally relevant. Sometimes I got overwhelmed with balancing my internship and my coursework, but that is also a skill we all need to learn. Balancing a number of things is a struggle in college, but it makes it all that much more rewarding. Internships look fabulous on a resume, too! Even if you only work once or twice a week, or maybe 20 hours, it all adds up and shows your experience and commitment to your education and career choice.

The U of M has an awesome Career & Internship Services office, where students can go for free. I went there a few times last fall and received advice on my resume and more information on how to use the internship search. By December I had landed myself an internship!

See you in 2015! Happiest New Year!

-Margo
--Architecture