KTGY Wishes Summer Interns Best of Luck as the Firm’s Inaugural Virtual Summer Internship Program Wraps-Up

September 16, 2020

CALIF. – Award-winning KTGY Architecture + Planning announced today that it recently completed its first virtual summer internship program. The 2020 program marks KTGY’s 28th summer internship program. The new virtual program format provided interns with the opportunity to spend six weeks virtually “side-by-side” with KTGY’s principals and key leaders as well as meet other interns from various schools nationwide. This year’s summer interns included a total of 16 college students, representing 11 different schools across nine states.

The program was announced earlier this summer on LinkedIn by CEO Tricia Esser who noted, “We were actively interviewing candidates for our 2020 Summer Internship program when stay-at-home orders were issued, and everything needed to pause. Since then, we’ve committed to finding a way to provide a program that would not only work within the CDC guidelines but would also be enriching, motivating, informative and fun.”

KTGY intern associate Joshua Bolan stated, “I loved how invested KTGY is with this internship program and it was amazing to be able to interact and learn from so many practicing architects. I am incredibly grateful to KTGY for seeing the importance of continuing their internship program and giving me this opportunity. A few months ago, I was extremely confused about my future, especially in the profession. This internship has helped me set a path and it was an experience I will never forget.”

KTGY’s new virtual, paid internship program covered a wide variety of topics related to business, design and studio life, and concluded with a design challenge that asked the question, “How can Architecture heal?” Some of the topics included: Planning 101; affordable housing; residential design; how to design for the future; construction innovation; tools of the trade; email etiquette; Legal 101; Marketing 101; and selling your idea with diplomacy.

“It’s clear that KTGY structures their internship to maximize an intern’s exposure to multiple facets of the profession (business, design, office culture, etc.), and even in a virtual setting, the program was successful in giving us a holistic look at architecture outside of what we’re taught in school,” said John Perez, intern associate.

Each intern had one-on-one time with a KTGY mentor to discuss the intern’s goals and desired career path. Other sessions included an opportunity to virtually meet KTGY’s board of directors and key leaders and ask questions, listen to panel discussions and learn about KTGY’s culture and studio life.

“This is my first time doing a virtual internship and I learned a lot about this company and how an architecture firm actually works,” said Ferdinem Bartolon, intern associate. “I really enjoyed this experience and I am amazed how you guys pulled this off in a short amount of time.”

Interns also got to see KTGY’s latest R+D concepts and learn about the company’s pledge to the American Institute of Architects’ 2030 Commitment. There was also a deep dive into what it takes to get licensed as an architect through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Interns were also given many assignments over the six weeks including an R+D concept assignment and presentation, creating a video journal, and presenting their design interpretation of how architecture can heal.

“In 2020, we are confronting a series of urgent issues at the forefront of our communities: social injustice, a global pandemic and the climate crisis,” said Sarah Sindian, AIA, NCARB, associate principal at KTGY. “Our roles as architects is to responsibly shape the vision for the future of the built environment. Using design as a tool that shapes the spaces in creating our communities, architecture can heal that which divides and disheartens us. This was a great opportunity for the interns to share new ideas and think outside the box.”

The students raved about the program and appreciated that the internship featured opportunities to learn different components of the business that were not typical of summer internships as well as ‘meet’ with KTGY’s board of directors, principals, key leaders, mentors and fellow interns. Here are some of the comments from the interns:

“I would like to express the increasing value that the younger generations place on the idea of self-care and the fact that KTGY didn’t treat us like ‘production machines’ means so much to me,” said Airene Dizon, intern associate.

“In a typical summer internship, you would rarely get to see this side of the firm on such a large scale,” said Jasmin Yao, intern associate. “In this internship, you get to see the many pathways + routes for growth/exploration within the firm and the inner workings of the company. The consistency between the offices was amazing to witness, along with the wide range of different personalities and backgrounds coming together to produce all this amazing work. You can certainly feel the support and care for the incoming, new generation going into the field.”

“This internship gave me an insight into the whole profession, and I learned many things that will help me improve my performance in school and prepare for my future,” said Cecilia Stratton, intern associate. “I am so unbelievably grateful for the work that was put into bringing this together. The leadership team did an amazing job engaging us and really going out of their way to get to know us and encourage us to learn new things.”

“From hearing about other friends’ online internship programs, they didn’t receive the amount of education and contact with so many people in the company like we did, and they wished they had something more like our program,” said Lauren Fordyce, intern associate. “In KTGY’s internship, I felt like I could ask any question, talk about casual things, etc. without feeling intimidated, which I didn’t experience at my previous internship. I genuinely had a lot of fun in this program! It didn’t feel like ‘work’ at all which I think is the goal of being happy in a job.”

“Important questions, some that I didn’t even know to ask, were answered for us,” said Malik Ray, intern associate. “KTGY did a fantastic job organizing this and exceeded my expectations. There were so many helpful seminars, I met interesting people, and made friends with students around the country. I feel more prepared for graduate school, licensure, and working in an office.”

“The amount of knowledge I gained through this experience is incomparable to any other internship program or class I have taken,” intern associate Rioka Kanazawa stated. “To be taught by professionals currently working in the field about a range of different things, especially things I have never known about like how the process of winning an RFP works, or how to collaborate with other contractors through digital platforms, was a very meaningful and useful experience. This internship has provided me with an opportunity to learn things I would have never learned otherwise, and tips for the industry, as well as a very special opportunity to be able to talk to and question the company board of directors. I know that the experience and knowledge I gained during this will stay with me forever.”

“I would recommend KTGY’s summer internship because it was very informational,” intern associate William Carreon stated. “There was a lot of information that was given to us about the firm and how it operates that you wouldn’t find in any other internship. I really enjoyed the activities such as ice breakers and the video journals were really good to get to know other interns and to communicate virtually.”

“I felt the information I got out of this program was far more than what I would’ve gotten out of a normal internship,” said intern associate Zai Cook. “I thoroughly enjoyed this internship as well as KTGY as a firm.”

About KTGY Architecture + Planning
Founded in 1991, KTGY Architecture + Planning is a leading full-service design firm focused on residential and mixed-use developments and neighborhood revitalization. KTGY seamlessly delivers innovation, artistry and attention to detail across multiple design studios, ensuring that clients and communities get the best the firm has to offer no matter the building type or location. KTGY’s architects and planners combine big picture opportunities, leading-edge sustainable practices and impeccable design standards to create memorable destinations of enduring value. KTGY serves clients worldwide from six office locations including Chicago, Denver, Irvine, Los Angeles, Oakland and Tysons (Virginia). See www.ktgy.com.