In a series of interviews titled “Intern to Intern,” I am sharing the stories of interns here at CannonDesign. The short stories below are a result of interviews that I have been conducting as a Marketing Communications intern in our Buffalo office. The stories include interns from various CannonDesign offices in the U.S. and Canada. Join me as I learn about the future members of the profession.
Name: Thomas Mulligan
School: University at Buffalo
Growing up, Thomas was always an artistic person and always had a general interest in architecture in high school. He even took some drafting classes just for fun. But that was put on the back burner as he thought law would be a good career path for himself. While in high school in Queens, he attended a lot of law seminars and quickly learned that he didn’t like law at all. He wanted to do something creative, but also wanted to have a specific career path with a great outlook. So, he took a leap into architecture in the hopes of finding something he loves, and he hasn’t looked back. Thomas earned his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University at Buffalo, and has completed one semester of the Master’s program. Looking forward into his career, he really wants to focus on sustainability. Projects that he has been involved with include Buffalo Benches, Gaelic Football Park at Conway Park, and GROW Home for the UB solar decathlon. The GROW Home is currently being rebuilt on a permanent foundation with help from Habitat for Humanity which will sit on the UB south campus and be used as an educational tool. Currently, Thomas is studying for his LEED exams and started at CannonDesign on June 22. Since starting, he helped make the Larkin links mini golf hole, and is helping with the CocaCola Field seat replacement plan. He is also learning Revit, having previously only used CAD, Rhino, and Adobe. It is his first time in an office environment and he really enjoys having helpful colleagues.
Name: Andrea Trinkle
Office: St. Louis
School: Washington University
Starting in high school, Andrea took a lot of art classes which she enjoyed, and she skimmed the surface of architecture on her own time just as a general interest. She went on to enroll at Mount Holyoke College as a pre-med student, taking on a dual major in Biology and Architectural Studies. Her focus being biology, she had hopes of going into the research field. During her time at school, she soon found out that the medical field wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. She then looked to study architecture full time and hasn’t looked back. She has just completed her first year of a three-year graduate program at Washington University. Andrea started at CannonDesign in mid-June and it is her first architecture internship experience. She also interned at City of Hope, a health research facility, while she was completing her undergraduate degree. While working at the firm, she was able to observe and see how things are done in the real world. She also noticed the big difference between academia and the work environment. Her main assignment so far has been working on a master plan for a local Illinois hospital which merged with another healthcare company called BJC. While working on the master plans, Andrea has been assessing the current state of the hospital, and takes these findings to compare the project to other hospitals around the area. She has a strong interest in the healthcare market, but still wants to explore other options seeing as this is her first internship and work experience in the field of architecture. Something interesting that she is observing is how “data-driven” architecture actually is. One piece of knowledge that she hopes to gain by the end of her internship is just learning how a large office environment and firm work cohesively. Aside from work, Andrea’s favorite hobby is not something that you would expect from someone who grew up the city of Los Angeles, which is horseback riding. She has been riding horses since she was five years old and rode in college. Luckily, she has managed to keep herself in one piece!
Name: James Janik
School: SUNY Buffalo State
Looking to combine his strength of writing with his intense interest in cars, James originally enrolled as a journalism student in the hopes of becoming an automotive journalist. He soon realized that he did not want to pursue that for many reasons. Always having been a creative person and a strong writer, he decided that marketing would be a good fit for him. James is now entering his senior year of the undergraduate public communication program at SUNY Buffalo State College. Although he is currently studying communication, he would like to ultimately go on to graduate school to pursue architecture as he has always had a general interest in it. Since starting at CannonDesign on May 30, James has completed many different assignments. He has conducted interviews, performed data entry, created a social media plan, and composed written content for both internal and external use including the “Intern to Intern” series. This has been his first internship experience and he enjoys the SFMO environment, working closely with colleagues and learning about the industry as a whole. James has gained a lot of valuable knowledge in both the marketing and architecture fields, and he is better prepared for a communication career and architecture school because of this experience. Outside of the office, James’ biggest hobbies are photography, cars and traveling.
Name: Sarah Pradel
School: McGill University
Sarah grew up with a mechanical engineer as a father, and he had a lot of influence on her choice to become an architect. She always liked to build things with her father, including rebuilding their entire house and doing things like installing floors and furniture. Her inspiration for wanting to be an architect lays in the idea of constructing the physical environment around her, and her greatest interest in architecture is in the planning phases. She completed her Bachelor of Architecture at McGill University in Montreal, and just recently completed her first year of her Masters of Architecture program there also. She is currently working on a thesis project which focuses on disaster relief architecture. Prior to joining CannonDesign, Sarah has had some other internship experience with DMA Architectes where she made presentations, performed building inspections, created detail drawings, and conducted site surveys. She also participated in a week-long shadowing program with SOM architects who are responsible for the One World Trade Center in New York City. At CannonDesign, Sarah is currently working on health projects, but she would like to explore other markets also, and she hopes to sharpen her technical skills such as drawing and drafting. In her free time, she plays soccer and enjoys entering architecture/design competitions with her friends.
Name: Tyler Arndt
Office: St. Louis
School: Kansas State University
Tyler was always exposed to architecture from the beginning. His father is a contractor who works on large scale, single family residential projects. Along with enjoying puzzles as a kid, Tyler specifically remembers being enamored with looking at blueprints that his dad would use for work; and he would always curiously ask his dad questions about the projects. Tyler took advantage of this situation by holding a summer job for many years with his dad that required him to construct residential framework. Having just finished the fourth year of a five-year graduate program at Kansas State University, Tyler credits those early days of working beside his father with giving him an advantage before enrolling into the undergraduate program at the University of Missouri Kansas City. He says those summer days of working helped him gain a lot of outside knowledge that other students simply didn’t have. Confronted with the choice of participating in either a study abroad program, or doing an eight-month internship through school, it wasn’t hard for him to make the choice of doing an internship. Tyler started at CannonDesign in January of this year. The main project that he has been involved with has been the Swedish American Project in Rockford Illinois. The project is a hospital expansion for a women and children’s facility which includes a labor and delivery unit, NICU, postpartum unit, and a full outpatient pediatric clinic. Nearing the end of his internship, Tyler has gotten to see this project grow almost completely from start to finish. He worked on project development at the very beginning, got to help with design, did site visits and even held user group meetings with clients. Some other projects he has worked on include master planning for the University of Nebraska and Palmetto Health Services in Columbia, South Carolina. The most significant skills he has learned while at CannonDesign include understanding computer software and communicating with clients to help understand their perspectives. In his free time, Tyler loves to just go home, play his guitar and hang out with his friends.
Name: Cameron Summers
Office: St. Louis
School: Missouri University of Science & Technology
Discipline: Electrical Engineering
Cameron is currently dual majoring in civil and architectural engineering at Missouri University of Science & Technology. He has completed three years of the five-year program. Originally, he was going to school for nuclear engineering. He chose this because he is very passionate about sustainable sources of energy, and hoped to enter the research field. During this time, he had a roommate who was studying architecture and Cameron became familiar with Revit. Soon after, he discovered how architectural engineering blended design and the use of science and math which he has an aptitude for. Because of this discovery, Cameron decided to change majors and has found his niche with solar design. He believes that sustainability is where the focus of design needs to go, and that it is underutilized in today’s designs. He is also involved with the Solar House Design Team at Missouri S&T. Every two years, the team builds a net zero house and enters it into a competition called the Solar Decathlon. He started at CannonDesign on May 22 and is currently in the electrical engineering department. He had the opportunity to work on a lot of different projects including building revisions for Washington University in St. Louis, and a redesign of the Effingham medical office building. His focus has been doing electrical work in Revit for the Monsanto Q Building switchgear replacement. He is creating all of the one-line diagrams, plan views and elevations, and electrical details for the project. Cameron also had the chance to go on site visits and survey the existing electrical panels to figure out new routing for conduits. This experience has been particularly beneficial for him because he gets to see how things need to be done first-hand. Cameron’s hobbies outside of the office include making digital art, which he has done since high school, and creating costumes and props for cosplay.