Internships – the exciting and sometimes nerve-wracking experience college students seek in order to excel in their career paths.
At QA+M Architecture, we’re always delighted to welcome the newest class of design interns to our firm. We provide valuable education, technical advice, and encourage emerging professionals to gain valuable experience and perspectives as they prepare to embark on their careers in architecture and interior design.
This summer QA+M had two interns join the team – Gabriela Dunn (left) and Christiana Bevilacqua (right.)
A junior at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in New York, Christiana is in the Bachelor of Architecture program. When looking for her internship, she knew she wanted to work in a studio environment that cultivates intricate design and collaboration. “I was fortunate to find an internship at QA+M that promotes this work culture.”
In the past year, COVID-19 greatly affected how Christiana learned architectural skills at RPI. “Remote and digital learning drastically altered my educational focus and I had a strong desire for more hands-on learning,” she expressed. During her time at QA+M, she strengthened her skills in model building, rendering, and construction administration tasks.
Christiana said, “I’m grateful for the learning opportunities I’ve been offered. I’ve been able to hone my skills in project development, documentation, and construction administration. With the insight from everyone at the firm my love for the architectural field flourished.”
Entering her senior year at High Point University in North Carolina, Gabriela is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. Even before she enrolled in college, Gabriela knew she was interested in interior design. At a young age, she recalls watching shows like “Fixer Upper” on HGTV. “I loved driving past houses and envisioning what the inside looked like.”
Her biggest inspiration stemmed from her father. “My dad is an electrician and the home my family lives in was completely designed and built by him.”
Drawn by the challenge of creating spaces that enhance relationships between people and the built environment, Gabriela loves exploring creative interior design possibilities. “My internship exposed me to all aspects of architecture and interior design through my work with interior finish and material selections, review of furniture specifications, existing condition verification, product research, and staging for photo shoots. I’m confident these real-life experiences make me a more well-rounded individual, poised and better prepared for future endeavors in my professional career. I’m grateful QA+M gave me a deeper understanding of a multi-faceted business and workplace environment,” Gabriela said.
Internships allow students to bridge the gap between academia and the industry through realistic job previews. Self-discovery, applied skills, and networking help forge paths for interns post-graduation. They see the reality and gain the confidence imperative to making an immediate impact in the working world. It’s a win-win-win for the interns, the firm, and the industry at-large when we make it a priority to prepare the next generation of design professionals.