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Friday Intern Feature: Alex
9-7-2018 | Blog
University University of Washington
What’s your favorite movie? Bad Boys 2, Alien and Bladerunner.
Who would you most like to swap places with for a day? Mike Jobes
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? Christmas Dinner 1997
If you could visit anywhere in the world you’ve never been, where would you go? Vietnam, Japan and Kevin Durant’s house
Which four individuals, living or dead, would you like to eat dinner with the most? Rick Deckard, Ellen Ripley, Mike Jobes and Ron (hire me).
Who is your least favorite superhero? Everyone who’s not Black Panther.
What drew you to Miller Hull? The first thing was definitely the people. UW and Miller Hull are kind of the same thing sometimes, so after people came to do crits with us or presentations or taught us, I knew I was interested in Miller Hull based off of the people alone. You know it’s good work based off of the people, but obviously the work speaks for itself as well.
What does a day look like for you? Show up 30 minutes late, check emails, Rich will come to my desk with piles of trace paper edits, try to find Ruth somewhere and then Marcy comes over and asks where I put all the files I made the night before. Also making diagrams, diagrams, diagrams and more diagrams.
What projects have you worked on/are currently working on? It’s been a pretty rad experience because from day one I’ve been helping with a predesign document for UW and I’ve been able to work with that team throughout, which is amazing. Not every intern gets that chance.
Is this internship what you were expecting? No, but it’s better. It’s a great internship. I think you come in from a school stand point and think “I’m going to learn direct, tangible skills that are going to help me be a better student.” But, you don’t learn that. You learn a bunch of intangible skills, like how to communicate more effectively, how to think with your hand, even how to use trace paper and how to be as efficient as possible. You come in here and learn how to be a better thinker, a better designer overall and a better teammate, too. They’re things you can’t really put on a piece of paper. You learn things like Lumion and Revit, but you learn it because you find out what your team needs.
What has been your favorite part of the internship so far? Besides working with the predesign team, it would definitely be meeting the people that are behind the designs. Meeting actual friends instead of just colleagues and meeting mentors. To me, the entire Miller Hull community is what makes it special and to be even a contributing member to that has been a really great experience. It makes you realize why you do architecture. Especially doing predesign, you’re not designing most of the time; half the time, you’re a moderator and a politician who reads rules—it’s so people centric. It’s great.
What has been the most challenging? The most challenging has been learning how to be the most helpful as possible without underestimating your ability to contribute. As an intern you come in and think, “They don’t want to hear what I have to say,” but that’s not true. The fact that I’ve been able to work with a team pretty regularly has been nice because I’ve been able to find a role and help and contribute and know where I can help most. So, it’s really hard to not talk yourself down and say, “You can help. You know how to do this and even if you don’t know how to do this, you can figure it out.” Don’t sell yourself short, but don’t bite off more than you can chew at the same time.