From Inclusive Internship to Emerging Design Professional

By Eduardo Ruiz, Design Staff

architect office collaboration
Since joining Hennebery Eddy, Eduardo has worked on a package of Multnomah County Library bond projects, helping renovate the historic Central Library and several smaller branch libraries.

Eduardo Ruiz is a design staff member in our Portland studio. He first came to the firm as a summer 2022 graduate intern from Prairie View A&M University in Texas, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture. This spring, Eduardo returned to Prairie View for their campus career fair — this time on the other side of the table representing Hennebery Eddy.

Why did you decide to apply for a Hennebery Eddy internship?

Out of all the firms that attended the career fair when I was a student, Hennebery Eddy had a range of projects I was interested in — projects like Bend Science Station, Ash+Ash, and 2&Taylor. This was also the only firm that had an internship program that was very inclusive and had an emphasis on the intern’s experience within the firm.

What was your favorite part of your internship experience?

My favorite part was “Intern Week” where we got to travel to various project locations, visit construction sites, participate in a variety of special activities in the Portland studio, and interact with the other interns throughout the firm.

How did you know you wanted to stay on full-time at Hennebery Eddy?

I knew I wanted to stay here when I started meeting more people within the firm and saw how approachable and friendly everyone was. The team I worked with on Multnomah County Library projects was incredibly helpful in answering any questions I had about everything from the individual buildings to using Revit. I was comparing my experience with other friends in different internship programs, and all of them were envious of my experience … at this point I knew I had to stay here. Also, the weather is great here!

BIPOC recruiters at a university career fair
Eduardo Ruiz was one of 30 alumni recruiters who participated in the campus career fair at Prairie View A&M University this spring (pictured front row, far right). Photo courtesy PVAMU.
Describe the experience of returning to your alma mater for the career fair.

It was a great experience! I got to meet many alumni and former classmates who were also representing their company at the career fair. Now that I’m on the opposite side of the table, I focused on informing students about our firm’s internship program and Hennebery Eddy’s culture and values — I wanted to let the students know how inclusive and helpful everyone is at our firm and that this is a good place to gain professional experience in architecture.

How did Prairie View prepare you for your internship and career?

There were several classes that touched on the professional setting and work culture of architecture where we learned about firm types, different firm work organization types, etiquette, culture, professional development opportunities, and what type of salary is needed to meet your day-to-day needs.

What advice do you have for students looking at internships and careers after graduation?

Make sure that the work culture and environment aligns with what type of professional you want to become in the future. In my case, I want to become a licensed professional and gain work experience in commercial and civic and cultural projects in the United States and give back to the people and places that have helped me become who I am today.