From Legos & Sims to Architectural Engineering: Reflections from our Summer Intern
Ever since I was a child, I knew I had wanted to create. I was always fiddling with Legos, creating vast towns sprawling all over my living room floor. As I got older, I graduated to the Sims. The only part I enjoyed was creating the houses and commercial buildings and then decorating their interiors – often for an audience of none; the people bored me. However, from my Lego and Sims days, I always knew I wanted to build and create within the architectural field. I was pretty set on being an architect until my high school physics teacher had mentioned he was in architectural engineering before switching over to education. I saw architectural engineering as the opportunity to design and create something beautiful while utilizing mathematics and physical laws.
This decision was the primary reason I enrolled in Pennsylvania State University, as it had one of the top architectural engineering programs in the country. The curriculum included architectural studios and (for me in the fall) steel design classes. The combined program of architecture and engineering allowed me to develop a broad technical knowledge while introducing me to the architectural design process.
As a rising senior, I was fortunate enough to intern at NKB for the summer of 2018. Even when I walked through the door during my interview and saw the open office space and close-knit community, I knew an experience at NKB was going to be worthwhile.
Entering my first internship, I was expecting the office dynamic to be similar to a studio environment: chaotic and full of team strife. However, I was pleased to find that while NKB was a collaborative environment, it also allowed each engineer and architect freedom to exercise those skills independently. I was also surprised at how well Penn State had prepared me with the relevant information needed within the working environment, which can be difficult to realize when the classroom has only a short-sighted view of a chalkboard.
NKB has provided me with invaluable experience. I was able to delve into structural design before my future steel and concrete design classes, allowing me a leg up in the classroom. I was also able to learn and observe different construction types while assembling project profiles and tagging along on site visits. After graduating (a five year program), I plan on getting a master’s degree in either architecture or history so I can one day specialize in historical structures and keeping history alive in the places we utilize every day.