By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. ~ Confucius Chinese philosopher.
My learning experience with NTD Stichler began on May 2008 when I started my internship that lasted five weeks. NTD Stichler is a comprehensive architectural, engineering, and interior design firm consisted of professionals from different disciplines such as architects, planners, engineers, interior designers, construction managers, and others. The firm has an international reputation in implementing innovative strategies and sensitive design solutions for the construction and renovation of healthcare, K-12 education, civic, college and university facilities as well as other complex facilities across the United States and internationally. It is a California Corporation maintaining four offices located in California and Arizona and I had the opportunity to work with them in their Scottsdale Office.
As a new architecture student, I spent quality time in this company and got to learn many new things about architecture. It helped me learn how to approach and deal with different situations and practice work under pressure. Because of the of projects deadlines I learned to be more practical and make a right decision on time. As a result of working under stress to meet the committed deadlines, flexibility, hard work, team work and creativity I gained lots of experience from my internship time. I would like to highlight that my experience with NTD Stichler was very impressive and full of learning, where I achieved numerous positive changes in my thoughts and manners.
My first interview was with Jasmine Jones the Scottsdale’s Office manager from whom I got my first impression of the people working in the company. Although during my interview I was not nervous about the job since it was my experience in an architectural firm I was a little anxious. Her nice personality made me feel more confident in my capabilities and I started enjoying the interview. She was a brilliant energetic woman and inspiring and I had no concerns or fears to start my work in the company.
NTD has different sections but their main focus recently has been on health care and education. During my time there I got to work in both departments and I believe it was very beneficial for me. They were working on big projects like Banner Thunderbird and Mayo Clinic and sometimes more than ten architects worked on the same project. Being part of their group in the meetings and site visits was so exciting. In addition, I experienced working as a team and learned to write report sheets for different meetings.
Working in architecture firm thought me to be cautious not to make mistakes on details and made me really believe that the “devil is in the details”. Small miscalculations can lead to big differences in the final job. Visiting the site during the project gave me a better perspective of the actual work and helped me understand how paying attention to little element is necessary.
One other important learning of my experience with NTD was to get acquainted with different computer software, building codes, manual books, construction documents and quality control in buildings. Ravit and Rhino were two new programs that were widely used at this company that I got to learn. Moreover, they were really open all my questions and made me feel that I am part of their group.
As a conclusion, the environment and people at NTD Stichler makes it a type of place that many architects including myself would wish to work for. Friendly atmosphere with knowledgeable architects make a good combination for any fresh graduate. I had a great experience from my first internship and I would like to be in touch with them for my future work.