Insights September 02, 2014

Intern’s Blog – Lorna Gallagher

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We’re keeping Collective Works open & transparent so it was only right that having taken on our first paid intern last month we should invite her to share her own views on the experience. With very little direction from us Lorna has kindly taken the time to write the first entry for our intern’s blog. Cheers Lorna!

Lorna Gallagher, Part 1 Student at University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

During three weeks in July I worked at Collective Works, as their first intern, to help further my education in Part 1 of my Architectural career. I approached Khuzema and Alasdair not really sure what I could offer them, considering my shameful lack of experience. However, each day was structured with tasks or observations. Throughout which, I was able to get involved, ask questions and now feel more confident in exploring the business and creative side of being an architect

As an intern, one must ask questions and always be ready to learn. If not, then neither parties involved will reap the benefits. My previous architectural experience was based in a much larger practice in New York. I was attended to and had questions answered, but seemed to be lost in the production line of the chaotic drawing hustle. On the flip side, despite Khuzema and Alasdair having plenty to do, they would always give me the time, an answer or even a demonstration.

Architecture is a learning process and to progress in the field, it really comes down to being willing to learn. However, choosing the right practice is critical in said learning experience. Each firm is different in its’ own structure and personnel. At the American based practice I was lost in the studio’s mass production line, where as at Collective Works, I received a one-to-one tutelage and even a free cupcake to go.

Here are five pieces of advice that I would like to pass on to future interns:

1) Ask questions
Never stand around, just get involved.

2) Research it
Try to find solutions or examples before asking the questions.

3) Make sure your work is reviewed
Before sending anything out, especially if you’re not too confident. However, eventually it comes down to common sense.

4) Get a reference or review
When you leave always get a reference.

5) Leave tea to brew for at least 3 minutes

If you’re interested in an internship at Collective Works please drop us an email,

Let’s have a chat about your vision and
how we can help you realise it.

Collective Works are an architecture & design studio. Our network of professionals will create your perfect solution.