Hasti was an architecture intern at LOT-EK in New York in 2020. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree at KRAVIA – Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies in Mumbai. Upon completing an internship in her home country, Hasti decided to intern in the U.S.,one of the leading markets in the architecture industry. Her goal was to learn more about current trends and processes in the industry and focus on choosing a sector of architecture she might want to go into upon graduating and becoming a licensed architect.
Hasti discussed her internship experience in the United States with InterExchange and how it has helped her to enhance her architectural skills.
InterExchange: Tell us about your internship search process. How did you find your host? How long did it take? What resources did you use, if any?
Hasti: “I learned about LOT-EK through my university. They provided me with a list of firms concentrated in sustainability and felt that LOT-EK would provide me with a lot of exposure to this style of architecture. Additionally, I had previous knowledge of their projects by following their work through YouTube, Arch Daily, Instagram, and their own website. I started searching for an internship about 3-months before my program, but I had already known for some time that I wanted to intern with LOT-EK because of their mission. Overall, the application process took roughly 1-month.”
InterExchange: What was a typical day at your internship like? What are some professional goals that you have achieved?
Hasti: “My typical day at the office usually began by having a coffee and taking a brief moment to talk to my colleagues before I started my day. A lot of my tasks revolved around creating computer 3D model rendering and working on design proposals with an emphasis on sustainability. During the later part of the day, I continued to discuss and train with the principals about the projects we were working on. The people in my firm were extremely helpful in teaching me new procedures and processes. They were very supportive and open-minded, which encouraged me to work efficiently.
I also learned various software skills such as AutoCAD, Rhinoceros, and AdobeCS, which are used in a lot of professional work settings, especially in the U.S. I feel like I was able to acquire a lot of design and presentation skills by working on formal construction documents from sketches and drawings. NYC work culture has also boosted my communication skills. I was able to have various opportunities to attend the client meetings, which gave me exposure to what clients want in design and what they expected from the project. Having this kind of interaction in real life projects with not only the clients, but also other contractors and technical roles, was really beneficial to understanding the entire design process.”
InterExchange: Besides the professional experience, what did you enjoy most about interning with your employer?
Hasti: “Aside from the professional experience, I really enjoyed the lunch conversations with my colleagues. We talked about various topics, and I learned a lot from them, given that they come from various cultures. We always had conversations about our cultures, religion, language, and food. The culture of the United States is very open, and the people in general, are very mature, civilized, and light-hearted. I feel like this has helped me to grow into the person I am without thinking about any society stereotypes that expect you to be someone else.”
InterExchange: Share examples of how you’ve learned more about U.S. culture and how you shared your culture with others.
Hasti: “I learned a lot about U.S. culture through experiences I came across every day, whether big or small, like attending events and making new friends there. For example, I would partake in distributing food to the homeless, attending free seminars about architecture, attending vegan cooking classes or even a few gym sessions, and of course, I learned a lot at the office.
I have also shared my culture through a lot of conversations with the people in my office and with the friends I made at various events. I cooked Indian food for everyone in my office on my birthday and they seemed to enjoy it!”
InterExchange: What would you tell a friend from your own country to encourage him/her to do an internship through InterExchange?
Hasti: “Firstly, I would tell my friends how good and different U.S. culture is and how people are extremely sophisticated in any given situation. Secondly, InterExchange was a very good sponsor to provide me with this opportunity. Applying with them was very easy and had very simple steps, unlike other platforms, which seem a bit complicated. Lastly, the email conversations with InterExchange staff gave me a warm feeling that somebody is there that I can reach out to when I am in need or just share any thoughts or concerns.”
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