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In order to choose the best architecture internship, it is important for a student to consider his career goals, the type of architecture that interests him, and the size of the firm where he might like to work, or even become a partner for one day. The most important step is to choose an architecture internship in the right field. A student interested in landscape architecture might not be best served by working for a firm that specializes in historic renovations, even though the experience would surely be educational. Furthermore, a student interested in eventually running his own small firm might not get the best taste of that end of the business by completing an architecture internship at a large company that specializes in the planning and development of projects that require teams of a dozen or more architects.
It is also important to choose an architecture internship at a firm that has a successful internship program in place. Even if it is a small firm, it is best to complete an internship with a firm that has previously had interns. Otherwise, the internship program might not be well planned and may not wind up being a successful experience in the end. A good way to choose a good internship program at an architecture school is to get recommendations from a career counselor and talk to students who have already completed an architecture internship.
In the best case scenario, an architecture internship allows student to make a little bit of income. At the very minimum, the internship should cover the cost of transportation. The best internships, however, are ones that allow students to focus on the internship by paying them a stipend or modest hourly wage. In so doing, it allows students to spend more time working at the internship and less time working at a part time job for the money. This is especially true if the internship is during the summer when most students try to make as much money as possible to prepare for the coming academic year.
For students who are unsure of what direction they might want to take as an architect, it is advisable to complete two internships, perhaps one each semester during one of the later years of school. By working at firms that specialize in various kinds of projects, the student can find the kind of work that he enjoys the most and at which he can excel.
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