This summer, Hennebery Eddy’s Portland office hosted three student interns, both in-person and remotely. Galen Sollom-Brotherton is a Master of Architecture student at the University of Oregon’s Portland campus. Jordan Allen joined us remotely from Dallas, Texas, and is completing his Bachelor of Architecture at Prairie View A&M University. And, Natalie Waldram is pursuing her Bachelor of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University. Here, they each share their experience on their time interning with the firm.
How is this student internship related to your current studies?
Galen: In my studies I’ve been focusing on a range of sustainability and human-centered topics, from high-performance buildings to healthy indoor environments. Working with the net positive committee as well as the Severson Dells Nature Center project, I’ve been able to see what these theoretical ideas and concepts look like in the professional world. The opportunity to put those ideas into practice has been a highlight of the internship!
Jordan: This internship helps me with my current studies by providing resources and experience in the everyday architecture industry.
Natalie: This internship provided me space to explore and develop invaluable skills very distinct from those of pure academics. My experience this summer has shaped my thoughts on how I want and can effectively engage with colleagues to best support and facilitate good and efficient team design work.
Describe some of the projects you are working on and how you are working with the project teams.
Galen: Most of my time this summer has been on the Severson Dells Nature Center in Illinois and the maintenance facility replacement at Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park in Hawai’i. The project teams have been relatively small, sometimes just the principal and I, or maybe three other people total. Working on these tight-knit teams has felt very similar to the best parts of studio culture in school.
Jordan: I mainly worked on the Fort Yellowstone Exterior Rehabilitation project in Wyoming, to help create a condition assessment for the National Park Service. I also was able to work on the Astoria Column in Oregon and Severson Dells Nature Center in Illinois, helping the project team come up with conceptual design ideas to present to the client. The projects I worked on allowed me to gain exposure to different design phases in architecture.
Natalie: I was primarily on the Fort Ellis Fire Station in Montana and North Country EMS Station in Washington, which have been incredible opportunities for me to work on a niche typology that exposes me, as a young professional, to many functions and needs in one relatively compact design.
What are you enjoying about this internship?
Galen: What I’ve enjoyed most are the people. Everyone I’ve met, informally or not, and the people on each project have been such a joy to work with. It makes the design process even more fun. The brief client interactions I’ve had have also proven that it extends beyond the Hennebery Eddy staff but also the clients and consultants the firm works with.
Jordan: I was able to work alongside the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, helping the team come up with a new initiative to help the office move forward. It was an honor to be able to provide feedback about my personal experiences, create a DEI checklist for project teams to use, and help the firm make significant progress.
Natalie: I really valued the opportunity to support and collaborate with my project teams. I have had an incredible experience collaborating with and learning from so many incredible designers with distinct processes, styles, and personalities. The mentorship and exposure this summer has really shaped my perspective on how I want to grow as a designer, architect, and individual.
What impact has working from home/remotely had on your experience?
Galen: I’ve been lucky enough to work most of my internship in person in the Portland office. Aside from the broken A/C and 115 degree weather on my first day, it’s been great to be in a real office for the first time. When I have been working from home, or other people have, I’ve found that the informal get togethers are always worth it.
Jordan: I worked most of my internship remotely from Dallas, TX. I still felt connected with everyone in the office. I was able to come out to Portland for a week to visit the office. Working with my project teams in person felt normal because I felt connected with them, even working remotely. The biggest challenge for me in working from home was my time difference. It would sometimes be challenging coordinating meetings around that time difference. Another challenge about working from home is that you do not get the benefit of running into people in the office that you do not work with. My mentors in the internship program were extremely helpful in connecting me with the right people.
Natalie: Fortunately, I had the opportunity to spend time in Portland and in the Hennebery Eddy office. I loved getting to know some of the members of my project teams in person. Even before I was able to meet everyone in person, my team quickly incorporated me into the stream of virtual communication and was incredibly open and helpful with answering any and all questions.
What is next for you after this summer?
Galen: At the end of September, I’ll be heading back to the University of Oregon Portland campus to finish up my M. Arch degree. I’m excited to take some of the knowledge from this summer and apply it to my final studio project. Throughout the year I’ll continue conducting research and hope to publish a paper contribute to novel research in the field.
Jordan: Following the end of my internship with Hennebery Eddy, I will be going be into my last year in the architecture program at Prairie View A&M University. I will be graduating with my Bachelor’s this year and going on to graduate school to get a Master’s in architecture next fall.
Natalie: Following my time at Hennebery Eddy, I will spend the academic year studying at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland. EPFL and my current university, Carnegie Mellon University, offer an exchange so I will continue my Bachelor of Architecture education while in Switzerland.