It’s your first day of work and hopefully, you are pumped up and ready to go. Here are a couple of pointers that might make all the difference in your internship –

1. Your First Impression Might Just Be Your Last Impression –

The first day you step into the office, everyone is going to be evaluating you, maybe judging you and keeping track of all your mistakes. More than anyone else, you need to be more worried about your boss. Partners or Principals are generally really enthusiastic about interns joining the firm due to the creativity and thought processes they bring in. Make sure you impress your boss. I do know this is easier said than done but its something that will work in your favor.
You need to make the best use of that first day, because once the mold is cast, it’s going to hard to change it.

2. Don’t Be An Introvert –  If you are one, pretend that you aren’t.

In Architecture, how you sell your idea is going to determine if you are going to make it big or if you are going to have to find other sources of income. It doesn’t hurt to talk to people. If it does hurt you somehow, all you need is a cursory smile.
Over time, I have begun to appreciate how small gestures can go a long way; sometimes they even get you on the team that’s working on that awesome project.

Wait a minute…

3. What Are You Wearing ?? – After giving Architecture websites, blogs and magazines a thorough read, you are bound to realize one thing – Architecture is highly fashion oriented, even if it means wearing black. All The Time! But seriously, what you wear and how you wear it defines you. Its great to carve out a niche for yourself right from the beginning; something that gets associated with you. For example, Zaha Hadid always seems to be competing with Lady Gaga’s wardrobe and the best part is, she’s the only woman doing that among an otherwise male dominated industry.

This does not mean you wear black and walk around all day. If you are working anywhere in the tropical region, wearing black is going to be a death wish. No one wants you sweating in the office!

4. Blend In – Remember this?

No one likes a smart-ass. Especially not a smart-ass intern. See, it’s great that you’ve memorized the local area bye-laws or all the sections of the National Building Code, but no one really cares! There’s a book that you can just open and get what you are looking for.
That being said, it’s always great to voice out your opinions during design discussions since it reflects on your dedication and understanding of the project. However, while doing so, you need to make sure you aren’t stealing someone else’s limelight.
Imagine you worked on the project for a month and then an intern who’s been there a week steals the show. If you are THAT intern, I feel sorry for what’s going to happen to you.
You also need to remind yourself of which team you are playing for. Sometimes, you might not like what’s come off the drawing board but might have to suck it up. That’s alright. Take one for the team. You will have plenty of opportunity to shine. And when you do, it’ll be even better if everyone around you is happy about it.

The bottom line – make sure you aren’t stepping on someone’s head just to get your point out. There will come such occasions in the foreseeable future where you might have to do that, but at that time, you won’t be an intern and that might make all the difference.

There are so many things that I want to talk about, but I think it will be best if this is done in parts. More in the next post.

Until then, have fun working!

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